A woman whose face is shrouded for religious reasons compares herself to her mother.
| I have my mother’s eyes. Not only in shape and in color, but in truth. The truth she witnessed and now what I see for myself. My world is not one of happiness and the fulfillment of dreams. It is, sadly, one of despair and pain. I tried not to see what my mother saw, and still sees today. But it comes. Images so fast and frightening. Shocking. Cutting the jagged edges of my world. What woman must hide her face behind a dark and solemn scarf? Especially if it is one of shame. What woman keeps the beauty of a young and knowledgeable face hidden? Closed from the joys of the world.
I want to see like my brothers, and my father. I want to experience all the world has for me, both light and dark. The very soul embodied in a delicate feminine form. To sing, to speak, to just think. To know I am unique. My soul the very being I am. Beautiful. But I have my mother’s eyes. They are hidden in fear and despair. What will I become? Am I already all that I am, or will be? Will I know my children’s children? Will I know the sisters and daughters of all the women who also have my mother’s eyes?
I’m not meant to know, but it is my want. To break free of the dark. To see as my brothers and my father see. To sing the song my soul keeps close. If I were not who I am where would I be? And whose eyes would I have? Would I be free? I don’t know. In my own way I am free. Free to see this world only as my father permits. But he doesn’t know I have another freedom, and it is hidden deep within. It is my dream and all that I know of the other world, where women wear no scarves and eyes see what they will. Images of happiness and color and freedom of thought. All these I keep from my brothers and my father. To them I show only my mother’s eyes. Sad. Demure. The eyes of a woman who knows pain. Who knows despair. But also knows hope. Hope that her daughter will see not through her mother’s eyes, but through her own. She begs her daughter to keep that hope. To survive in a world where a mother’s eyes are all that a daughter has.