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IanMifsud

Mrs.Gardner

English/Period6

26January2016

KeepYourEyesontheBall

“Remember,keepyoureyesontheball!”someoneshouted,mostlikelymycoach.My

twelve­year­oldeyespeereduncertainlyatthepitcherasIsteppedintothebatter’sbox.Itwas

myfirstLittleLeagueat­bat,andmyconfidencewasdroppingeverypassingsecond.Igingerly

assumedmyveryimperfectbattingstancemodeledafterBusterPosey’s.Isawthepitchercome

setandgulpedasthefirstpitchcame.“Strikeone!”shriekedtheprepubescentteenservingasthe

umpire.Ididn'tevenseethepitch,hadmyeyesdeceivedme?Iheardmycoachholleroutsome

moreadvicefromthethirdbasecoachingbox.Itwasallthesametome:“Useyoureyes!Watch

theballallthewayin!Letyoureyesguideyourswing!”Isteppedbackintotheboxwide­eyed

hopingIwouldgetaglimpseofthebaseballthistimearound.“Play!”squeakedtheump.The

pitcherrearedandfiredanotherfastballwhichIthoughtIsawfromthemomentitlefthishand.I

lostsightoftheballasitpickedupspeed,luckilyitwastoofarofftheplateandIletitgofora

ball.Threepitcheslater,thecountwasfullat3­2,adrenalinefilledmyentirebody.Thisisit,I

thought,it'sfullcountinyourfirstat­batever.Thisisthetimewhereyouseethenextpitch

instantly,crushit,andwatchitsailovertheleftfieldfence justlikeBusterPosey.With

new­foundconfidence,Istoodreadyformymomenttocome.Thehurlercameset,lookedto

secondbase,woundup,andunleashedhisthirdfastballoftheat­bat.Iheldmybreath,loaded

up,imaginedtheballflyingintoLucchesiPark,thenswungharderthanIeverhadbefore.I

missed,byamile.“WatchtheballIan!You'llget‘emnexttime!”Itrudgedintothedugoutwith

myheaddown.SomeBusterPoseyyouare.Youcan’tevenseethebaseball.Timetostartusing

youreyes.Theysaythatyoureyesarethewindowstoyoursoul,thatdayIdiscoveredmysoul

wasblind.

Merriam­Websterdefinestheeyeas“aspecializedlight­sensitivesensorystructureofanimals

thatinnearlyallvertebrates,mostarthropods,andsomemollusksistheimage­formingorganof

sight;especially:thenearlysphericalusuallypairedholloworganofsightinvertebratesthatis

filledwithajelly­likematerial,islinedwithaphotosensitiveretina,andislodgedinabonyorbit

intheskull.”WebMDstatesthat“theeyeisaslightlyasymmetricalglobeaboutaninchin

diameter,”andthatitismadeupoftheiris,thecornea,thepupil,thesclera,andtheconjunctiva.

Eachparthasitsownimportantpurpose:theirisgivesoureyecolor,thecorneaprotectstheiris,

thepupilletslight(andbaseballs)in,thesclera­­alsoknownasthewhitesofyoureyes­­provides

heavyprotectionandattachmenttoextraocularmuscles,andtheconjunctivaactsasacoverfor

everythingexcepttheirisandpupil,whicharealreadycoveredbythecornea.Recently,

scientistshavediscoveredthatthepatternsfoundintheirisarelinkedtotheperson’scharacter

traits.Forexample,individualswithdenselypackedcryptsarewarmheartedandgentle,andthat

individualswithmanycontractionfurrowsaremoreimpulsiveand“likelytogivewayto

cravings,”(SpiritScienceandMetaphysics).Youreyesarethewindowstoyoursoul,andthanks

tothesecrystal­clearfindings,wecanconcludethatthisinsightistrue.

Eyesarelinkedtoreligionandancienthistoryinnumerousmanners.Forexample,theancient

EgyptiansbelievedthatthesunandmoonweretheeyesofthegodHorus.InChristianity,itis

believedthatthedevilentersone’smindandsoulthroughtheeyes.InBuddhism,theBuddhais

portrayedwithlarge,piercingeyesrepresentingomniscience.InIslam,itissaidthata

malevolentspiritcanplacean“evileye”orcurseonapersoncausingthemtobeviolentlyilland

toexperiencemisfortuneineveryaspectoflife,requiringanexorcismtobecured.Thereare

severalmoreaccountsoftheeye’simportanceinmythologyandinnearlyeveryreligion,in

someithasabenevolentmeaning,andinothers,amalevolentmeaning.Inmypersonal

experiences,eyeshavehadseveraldifferentmeanings:whenIamdoingartwork,theeyeson

anypersonalwaysarethehardesttogetjustright­­howtheeyesaredrawncandrastically

changeaportrait’soverallappearance­­whileplayingfootball,staringyouropponentdownon

thelinecanbeincrediblyintimidating,(especiallyifthestareisfollowedbyabone­rattlinghit)

andmostnotablyinbaseball,hand­eyecoordinationisabsolutelyeverything(little

twelve­year­oldIanwasdefinitelylackinginthisarea).

Theeyeshavesymbolicsignificanceinsocietytoday,mostnotablyineyecolor.Myirises

havealightbrownhuemeaningIam“confident,determined,andpositive”(ShreyaSamant).

ThesearealltraitswhichIpossess,andarearguablymymostprominentqualities.Ihavealways

beenconfidentenoughinmyself,notconfidenttothepointwhereIamcockyornarcissistic,nor

underconfidenttothepointwhereIaminsecure.Mydeterminationhasalwaysbeenself­evident,

mostprominentlyintheclassroomandonthefootballandbaseballfield.WheneverIcome

face­to­face(oreye­to­eye)withadversity,Istrivetoovercomeitandtostaypositiveinthe

process.

Threeyearsaftermyprestigiousfirst­at­batstrikeout,Ihadcontinuedtoplaybaseballandwas

enteringatwo­men­ontwo­men­outsituationinthelastinning.ThescorewaswastiedasI

steppeduptotheplate.Ilookedtomycoachatthethirdbaseboxasusual,henoddedandsaid,

“Youknowwhattodo.”Watchthatbaseball.Ithought,Don’ttakeyoureyesoffofitfora

second.Isteppeduptotheplateandstaredintothepitcher’seyes.AshepeeredoverhisgloveI

noticedhowdeepbluetheywereincontrasttomybrowneyes.Hehadablank,focused

expressionwhichIreturned.Ichewedmygumandraisedmybatashestartedhiswind­up.It’s

nowornever.Isawtheballfromthemomentitlefthisfingers,Isawhowtheredseamsrotated

astheballcamecloserandclosertomyhungrybat.Iconnected,anddidn'tmissapieceofthat

baseball.Iwatcheditsailintoleftfield,climbinghigherandhigherintothesummersky.Finally,

finallyit'shappening.It'sgottobeahomer.AsIspedaroundsecondbaseIhadnodoubtinmy

mindthatIwouldbecrossinghomeplate.AstherelaycameinIwascrossingthirdbase,It’s

goingtobeacloseone.Thethrowpassedupthecatcherbuttheblue­eyedpitchercaughtitfrom

behindhomeplate.Ilookedhimstraightintheeye,accelerated,andhitthedirtinanattemptto

beathimtotheplate.Ifeltthetagonmybackandmyhandonhomeplatesimultaneously.

“Safe!”Aprepubescentvoiceshrieked.

WorksCited

1. “Buddhaeyes.”ReligionFacts.com.10Nov.2015.Web.Accessed25Jan.2016.

2. "EyeofGodSymbol."EyeofGodSymbol­ReligionFacts.N.p.,n.d.Web.25Jan

3. "IslamicExorcism."EvilEyeAccordingtoIslam,Symptoms,CureandTreatment.N.p.,

2007.Web.25Nov.2016.

4. Samant,Shreya."DifferentEyeColorsAndWhatTheySayAboutYou­Listovative."

Listovative.N.p.,25June2014.Web.25Jan.2016.

5."TheEyes(HumanAnatomy):Diagram,OpticNerve,Iris,Cornea,Pupil,&More."

WebMD.WebMD,n.d.Web.25Jan.2016.