I can’t recall right now (and I don’t feeling like looking it up) where Merleau-Ponty says that objects, or their sense, meet our gaze with a ‘vague beckoning’? He also uses the term ‘solicitation’ at places to denote how object attract us and draw us into a ‘communion’ with them. At a couple points in the Phenomenology he speaks about sense experience as an assault or assailing of the body, which is language he adopts directly from Erwin Straus’s The Primary World of Senses.
Realism hinges on the question of whether or not objects assail us. If we think they merely beckon us, then the idea that subject and object reciprocally determine each other’s form seems plausible. That is, a certain postdualist idealism/irrealism may be right. But if objects assail us with their qualities or with sensations, then there is something to be said about their autonomy from our perceptual or cognitive machinery.