In the Season Four episode “Soft Eyes,” Bunk condescendingly lectures Kima on what to look for at a crime scene. He says she’s going to need soft eyes:
If you got soft eyes, you can see the whole thing. If you got hard eyes—you staring at the same tree, missing the forest.
A writer needs soft eyes. Right? Right. Of course. A writer needs soft vision that that embraces the world, caresses the world, acknowledges all the pain and beauty and mystery and despair and loneliness and happiness that exists in the world. You’re a writer with hard eyes? Your vision is going to ricochet off whatever you might think you’re looking at—it’s going to bounce away, deflect, reflect—you might as well be blind. You’re not going to see with hard eyes. You’re not going to understand.
We have to work to develop soft eyes. For some people this is difficult, for some it is easy. But seeing softly is always a deliberate act. This is one of the things I’ll be talking about at Alamo Bay Writers’ Workshop next week….