(Confession: I collect salt and pepper shakers. Just a few of them, but I like to set them up like this. Uninterrupted adorable eye contact.)
Several days ago I found myself gazing into a very handsome man's blue eyes, and he into mine...both of us trying desperately not to blush as five minutes passed. Three hundred seconds of uninterrupted eye contact. The blushing was nearly unavoidable as we sat three feet apart, silently allowing our eyes to travel across every millimeter of the other's face. Exploring lips, skin, cheeks...colors and textures and shapes.
Talk about getting intimate with a stranger.
We were in a classroom filled with 20 others, and preparing to draw portraits. Thinking back to those few minutes, I felt so exposed. I couldn't hide anything. A flinch, a smile, an expression...he could see it all. The first minute felt like an agonizing hour, the second like an entire day, but by the third it began to feel comfortable, like I'd known those eyes for some time. Slowly, as the seconds slipped by, the vulnerability felt strangely therapeutic.
The experience now has me thinking about how infrequently we look into each other's eyes-even the eyes of close friends and family. If eyes are the windows to the soul, perhaps we elude eye contact so very much in an effort to avoid having our souls seen?
Just a thought.
Another thought: Perhaps I should routinely make a purposeful effort to sit next to handsome classmates? :)