Mirror Mirror

What’s Right? What’s Real?

Mirror mirror on the wall, which one is truest of them all? For different functions, I have to choose which mirror to use. Right now putting on my make up demands a close critical study of the ravages of aging—the freckles that have become age marks, the wrinkles and unfamiliar hairs that have been lost from my brows and found in the wrong places. The daytime light of my office is the least forgiving and most accurate. I work with my reflection looking from different angles, applying color here and cover-up there. There is a strange discrepancy in my applied masterpiece. Some days I require little face painting, while on others I create something akin to a mask. Happiness seems to enter into my application decisions. When I’ve been touched and sweet-talked, I sometimes don’t even check the mirror or forget to apply my disguise.

What I see differs according to the light of the room and the time of day. For instance, the light in my bedroom is forgiving. The long mirror hanging on the bedroom door is across the room from three large windows which allow indirect sunlight, filtered by a tall wispy hemlock, to provide a flattering light. In this mirror, I often approve of what I see. That is if my mood is right. If I ate too much the day before, I notice bulges that must have appeared overnight in my thighs and the increased roundness of my belly. But, with a good night’s sleep, the final check of my outfit for the day is just fine. Occasionally I ponder, Why not believe this one? Since my reflection changes from mirror to mirror, why not choose this to believe? In reality, I have no idea what other people see. My image changes dramatically from day to day. Where lies the truth?

I have the best time with my bathroom mirror, which covers the hinged door to my medicine cabinet above the sink. When I brush my teeth or dry my hair, this is the mirror I use. I must take off my glasses to accomplish these routine chores. Glancing in the mirror my face has a youthful smoothness, absent any discoloration or blemishes. I linger for a while, admiring this slightly blurred view of a somewhat younger self.

Ah, but the glasses must go back on to see my way to the next room. Reality returns.

But, what is real?

My mind, circumstances and emotions, like everyone else’s, are controlling my experience. And so I ask you, who is right or knows the facts? Listening with curiosity about what’s behind your own or someone else’s beliefs could lead to a new understanding and welcome harmony.