Language of the Eyes

I’m waiting at the Eye Clinic as Amma undergoes cataract surgery. The place is quite spartan, done entirely in white with green highlights in the form of plants. Some indoor and a little balcony which was more lush. The doctor’s cabin overlooks part of the lawn and has a stone Buddha sitting in padmasana. There is a standee in the waiting lounge that promises many benefits of the surgery, like being able to read the newspaper, watching television etc. Everyday activities for many people. Incidentally, I don’t read the newspaper nor do I watch television. I read a considerable bit on the screen and in a physical form as well besides typing on my screens. It got me wondering about what would I do/ feel if my vision failed me and I couldn’t indulge in reading or writing. Milton came to mind almost immediately. His magnum opus was composed as a blind man. So, what do we really use to see and what is it that we see?

Recently, my younger daughter and I were at a park for an art workshop and the participants were encouraged to draw on the theme of nature. The first exercise was to sketch and colour the leaves of the plants that appealed to them. This second one was their own interpretation. Little K chose an eye and it was interesting for me. Her reasoning was simple, without eyes how can I appreciate nature.

As an organ of perception, it is associated with the fire element. Form without substance. When we die, the light is extinguished. The phrase is very expressive and points to an early understanding of who and what we really are. I find it fascinating how the elements exit the body on death. The last breath signifies the completion of it’s departure. Where does the last exhalation take place? As long as there is life, the panchabhutas are present in the workings of the body and mind. The last breath, the last sight, the last swallow – where does it all dissolve? Perhaps, the secrets lie in savasana…
Most people find thinking or speaking about death, morbid. I find contemplating it makes me more alive, present to the marvel that life is. How can one not appreciate the brilliance in design of the human body and mind? 

Hari Om

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