Tuesday, January 22, 2008

In The Mirror


It was late. The tavern was sparsely populated. At the bar a man drank slowly in silence, watching himself intently in the bar mirror with each movement he made, and even staring at himself he made none. I wondered why he was so deep in thought and so I sat beside him, smiled, and offered to buy him a drink for the secret of the mirror.

He looked at me in the mirror and slowly smiled. "Ah my friend, the mirror, in truth, holds many secrets." he said. "Take a good look and them tell me what is it you see there. A reflection. Maybe ! But a reflection of what? If what you see is real. Is it the truth. Or maybe is it the truth we want to see. Have you ever taken the time to really look, to stare into the face of yourself. Think about it, he said. Only here, in places like this can one sit and stare. You don't even have to be drinking to see the face changing again and again."

He smiled a knowing smirk into the mirror and then toasted me with his glass. All we are now, all we were, all we hope to be is there in the mirrors layers. I watched his eyes smiling reflection and then looked into my own reflection, my bearded face looked back at me, but now it was somehow not the same. The eyes locked on each other and I was then transported through time itself.

Looking back were the eyes of wonder on a child’s face gazing with innocence imprinted with all I had seen forever etched and burnt into the who I am. The good times, the love. But also all the things that should not have been. How can adults not think a child does not see with eyes connected to the soul and all the words and intentions mean nothing for the eyes record only actions.

The face grew older, and the eyes grew confident and arrogant with teen years. Mirrors were used frequently now, but only to preen, to primp, and to worry, for this was a time of self indulgence, of holding all the world in school dance. That face was so full of pride, of joy, its reflection saw no truth, only dreams.

The ageing begins. The face ceases to smile as much responsibility comes, eyes worry about finding and holding a good job to be able to afford the dream. At the same time the small loves are long forgotten for the real one has come. The face becomes a remembrance of the joy of that love with eyes sparkling. once so real, so perfect it seems now surreal, part only of that other lost time

My new friend spoke and broke the spell and I marveled at the mirrors power, he smiled and said, "You see, you are there, as am I, as are all of us. We see the things we are and those we think we are, and those we hope to be, the things we gave up to be who we were, the things to come we will give up. Dreams lost and gained, love lost and won, wonderful victories and defeats We can see the face of who we wanted to be and who is it we have become."

He continued. "I have watched myself become a man, fall in love, and marry. I can see the loving husband I became, the caring father face with the kids, a worker, business man working always so hard trying to provide for the family. Trying to find that balance that never seems to come between providing enough so everyone can have all they demand or need and spending time with them.

Seeing the face of my dreams change from a goal together into just survival, watching the precious time of life’s loving together slowly slip away into oblivion. I see all of this, and so much more, for the mirrors reflection changes constantly" "But in all of this there is something I no longer see", he said with deep regret.

What is that I ask ? He looked over at me with such sadness in his eyes. He slowly took his drink and drank it down, and as he got up to leave he said "I don't see me !!!!."...I hesitantly lifted my head and looked, to see if I was there.

Try it sometime. Just look into a mirror for a while. Watch the faces change. See the eyes ask and answer questions you did not even know you had.

And hope.....when you are done.....you can say....with truth..."I can see me"

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