Eye contact is a strange phenomenon.
Being part of my grand-daughter’s entrance to the world really brought home some of the things I’d been thinking about over the previous weeks.
My daughter gave birth to a child and that process was arduous. Because she wanted a natural childbirth experience, meaning no epidural, it required the skill to focus.
When her contractions became strong,my job began. My role was to help her remain focused. She chose a focal point. Lucky Kylan – it was his eyes she wanted to use. Eye contact, not just to look at his eyelids or eyeballs.
The difference there is crucial. To make eye contact with someone requires concentration, effort. Even a passing glance that results in eye contact sparks some sort of reaction. There is some sort of transmission that takes place.
I’m not sure what that’s about, but it seems meaningful. I’m convinced that what I witnessed during that event was something very special, sacred, even.
Have you ever held sustained eye contact with anyone? I’m talking 10 hours (well, that’s an exaggeration. It was only about 4 hours), with breaks every 2 to 3 minutes. When for whatever reason at any particular time, if I noticed her focus slipping, or Kylan’s, I called her to focus on my eyes instead.
To do this required vigilant watch to monitor the eye contact she had with Kylan because it’s very difficult to come back to focus once it is too far gone. There’s a *zone*, and the goal is to stay in it.
Something transpired during those moments, something that defies my attempt at explanation.
Childbirth in itself is a miraculous, sacred event. But the other part, the wordless eye contact… there is nothing I can say to describe it.
I have other comparisons to make, parallels of childbirthing experience to the writing life, and even to life in general. But I’ll save those for another day.
Specifically, I want to write about the focus, which is closely related to the things I was thinking of before the baby came. Visualization, goal achievement, dream statements, affirmations… they all require focus.