Tuesday, 11 January 2011

The Bluest Eye

This is something I have found on my aunt-by-proxy’s front porch, and in our step-brother’s house, and in other various locations around our friends and family. It is the Turkish Eye, also called the Nazar boncugu, the blue bead that, in ancient Anatolian belief, had lots of power (yes, really, this idea is thousands of years old!). It helps ward off the evil presumed to spread by the glance of others. It is believed to be a good omen that will protect you and yours from bad things like the Evil Eye.  And generally looks rather inspiring. And so, unlike Toni Morrison’s novel about racial and social inequality, this bluest eye is a good thing.  You can get it from Turkey where they have them in gift shops , hotels and bars, suspended from just about every possible hook and wall and taxi rear view mirrors, and it can be a big one like this or something as small as a charm on a bracelet, that way you have it with you always.

It reminds me in a distant way of The Bluest Eye, Morrison’s amazing novel that she wrote while working, studying and bringing up two small children.  The glance of others was of course a key element to this story, because this is what Pecola was trying to negotiate. And it in a strange way reminds me of Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes were Watching God. I still have never been able to get over this story (well, either of them really) even though I read it back when I was in middle school or high school, something like fifteen years ago, because they are so haunting. It is as if we must always feel the eye of someone or something on us. This can be a looming threat in the shape of an abandoned billboard over a forgotten valley.

Or, as the Turkish Eye suggests, it can be good luck.
I wish you all good luck in your endeavours! I think we could all use a good omen every now and then.

1 comment:

  1. I wish my Turkish eye would work. It is a fridge magnet on my fridge door but up to press it doesn't seem to bring me luck in finding only healthy slimming food inside when I open the door.Maybe I am sending out the wrong wishes.