Eyes like cold fire

Disclaimer: what I have understood here may be faulty and should be discussed and questioned in dialogue with the Beloved Subject. In this respect it is only what I have understood and may not correspond to reality in everything. However, I hope that I have correctly recognized the key points, otherwise it would be a pity.

A cold fire is something paradoxical. Her eyes radiate dominance, contempt, power. Something glows in them, that doesn’t burn. A consciousness glows in a freshness and coolness like an ice-cold mountain lake. The infinite space of the night sky miraculously finds expression in the high-strung features of her face. One cannot look away, although one suspects that it is insulting to examine this gaze. Hard to see through and without much eyelash movement. An appreciative look that doesn’t flicker even when the other person is jokingly trying to appease that look. Suddenly her gaze changes into a superficial and jovial persona, when she has charming and beguiling short conversations with other people in order to place an order in a restaurant. This change seems frightening to the lover, because the change reveals that he is the target of her discriminating gaze and that he is given a special role, which he does not like to be pleased about, because he is tested by her gaze and is afraid; because the eyes and expressions reveal that she is experienced and used to testing people in this way. He looks deep into her eyes and feels lost for a short time, almost hypnotized by her bewitching arrow eyes that seem to look into his soul in a certain way. He wobbles and distorts his face, he feels as if he is looking into an abyss and suddenly this abyss looks back at him and he has to avert his gaze because he feels overwhelmed. He is ashamed that he had to turn his gaze away. He is ashamed that he has come too close to her and that he has done something that she might perceive as a challenge or an insult. He perceives hatred in her face for an imperceptibly brief moment, as he sets about an explanation with which he tries to assess her, contain her, and relates them both, by putting forward an account of their mutual similarity. He can’t help but to act fast and out of instinct now, for he is afraid of being condemned by these cold fire eyes. The situation is intimate, he memorizes her look deeply. She says something about not imagining things about this meeting. Because she has seen through him. She has seen through his ways, and that he stores the picture of this situation in his memory. She has seen through, that he is happy with her picture, with her presence. His thoughts play ping pong. He doesn’t have enough time to assess the situation. He is excited and nervous. Her gaze feels like the gaze of a lioness in the face of a possible prey. But her gaze also reflects a kind of codex: a sense of justice guides her gaze. It is the case that her judgment or her cold fire eyes have the unconditional objective, that she will be well and that she shall avoid the fate of captivity at all costs. So her eyes and gaze are evoked by her deep interest in making a meaningful decision, which involves a separation if you don’t get along. It is (from the observer’s point of view) a sad fidelity whose gaze speaks of much loss and disappointed hopes. The lover is afraid and respectful of this look, because he wants to be a part of her codex and her sense of justice and knows and suspects, that he will sadly side with her judgement and leave her – to show her (in his eyes) that he is speaking her judgement for her against him. That he condemns himself by his apathy, by sharing in her aura and letting her gaze and her already presented request speak for itself, by first saying goodbye to her. The meeting thus ends in incomprehension.

Note: The following links show examples that are similar to this scene. I made this selection for myself. It may therefore seem inappropriate for you (the reader), as it is personal criteria.

Antonio Brauner – Besuch am Abend (2003)
Brian Butler – The dove and the serpent

Note: The assignments made here are for entertainment purposes only, since the scene is always an event between subjects that took place in time and therefore only a similarity can be displayed.

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