Before I was born I held a mirror in each hand. Facing two persons, each moment was spent reflecting, reflecting out and reflecting back. It was always about the other. I saw myself, but I saw others, and everything that was in me, I wanted to share. Everything that was out of me I wanted to mirror, and then reflect back.
Then I entered the world and I couldn’t see with the mirrors. I would catch glimpses of what I wanted to see, but they were tiny refractions, like in the corner of a kaleidoscope. Sometimes I saw the blessed parts of me, and other times I would just see tainted images. I was constantly looking through shattered mirrors. The mirrors had been broken, and I didn’t know when it happened. It was as if some time between limbo and birth, I had said to the mirrors, ‘be gone; I do not want to look into you any more. I do not want to reflect back what I see.’
All I wanted was to catch a glimpse of what I had, pre-earthly state. I wanted to linger and look in the mirrors. To look at reflecting reflected brightness. I wanted with all that I was to give out what I saw as I looked into those two persons. I went through my days, looking for people to gaze into. I wanted them to see the state of my soul. I wanted them to look into it and see themselves. Or else, I wanted to look into them and see me. I wanted so much to share what I saw, I wanted them to feel what I was feeling, hear what I was hearing, experience what I was experiencing, love what I was loving. But, to no avail.
I wanted to take them to the water and for them to remark at the same time as me, the way they saw the light hit the ocean, and then the birds flock over the sky. I wanted them to notice the way to full moon sometimes looked swollen, and the way it caught my attention and made me look up while I was so busy fiddling for me keys. I wanted them to be with me and smell November, the gardenias, the jasmine, the dew. I wanted them to see the colour that the redferns made when they crossed with the jacarandas, as the sun slid through the dappled leaves. I wanted them to smell the sea salt that sprang up from the sea, and feel the same exhilarating thrill of being so close to the water so late in the night.
I wanted them to burn with the same explosive feelings when we held our magnifying glasses to one another, and our eyes towards the sun.
I was born with the desire to reflect ideas of higher reason. I was born to recognise the circles in my mothers face. I was born holding a broken mirror, a faulty compass, and an incomplete map, wondering where to find the one that made me. Wondering where to find one that I could look at, and who could (without wincing), look back at me. I wandered with my mirrors asking people to look into them, and tell me what the saw.
Some years ago, there was a man who was loved. He was the most loved man in the world (though comparatively, others were loved the same as He). People told me that he walked around with mirrors, knowing where to point them, and where to aim them to get the most wonderful visions to fill the earth. After some time, people will say, this man was condemned for lying with his mirrors. They said he pointed them wrong, and looked upon himself, and said that he was a part of the wonderful vision he reflected. He said ‘I am this mirror, this image is mine, and I am it’, so they decided to take him, and to confiscate his mirror.
After some time, they realised they could not stop him from reflecting, so they decided to kill him so this wouldn’t go on. They took him to a hill, and tried to rid him of his authority. And at one last moment, his mirrors were broken. He could not look into them, or point them, or reflect them back any more. They killed him, but even before then, the mirror was broken.
They tell a story of that man he went to the places where mirrors are made and set the image right once and for all. They said that the creator of the mirror had to smash all mirrors, in order to set them right again.
Now people say, that the pictures in his mirror is reflected. They say the creator of the mirror, after that day gave millions and millions of mirrors away. And the creator of the mirror, goes about handing out mirrors, saying ‘reflect these back to me and you will be able to see’. And if people look into the glass, they see that man and they see him looking back at them, looking back at him.
Sometimes now I take that mirror down to the sea, and point it at the way the moon hits the sea, and the birds fly over the sky. I point it to the smells of November; and the moon at night; and the dappled leaves. I watch as the colours slide into my kaleidoscope, and mirror one another in patterns and patterns of patterns.
I hope that as I hold the mirror, I will see the picture reflected back. Thinking that maybe it will help me to see what I first saw. Thinking that maybe it will help me to see the other. Maybe I will recognise the circles that I met when I opened my eyes. Maybe I will be able to share what has been left, the stirring embers at the bottom of my soul that want to meet, and reflect, and connect, and ignite those embers with a magnified brightness.
I was born with a mirror in each hand. Facing two persons, each moment was spent reflecting, reflecting out and reflecting back.