Monday, May 25, 2009


Ever catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror and not recognize who is looking back? Ever wander through the halls of an old school you attended, or an old neighborhood and felt familiar eyes hanging out in the trees, only when you turned to look, there was nothing but a breeze and a blue jay? Or how about this one -- you walk into a room or into a different city and you know that you could have been here if you'd made other choices. You don't know if the end result would have been more pleasant or less pleasant, you just know that the road you travel could have brought you here.

I think sometimes that I spend a good portion of my psychic energy chasing the illusions of myself. I love all these ghosts hanging around me, so they hang all around me. I love imagining what could have been, and so I do. I love, perhaps most of all, the idea that possibilities are limitless -- that all I have to do is step one foot in a different direction and everything will be different.

Except there'll still be that transparent Laraine hanging out. The one who is always just a finger's length away. The one who whispers things and hides things, only to reveal them at the most inopportune times. Transparent Laraine won't be my friend. That's not her job. Transparent Laraine just reflects. I'm the one who chooses what I see -- gosh, is that another wrinkle under my eye -- gosh, my butt really does look fat in those jeans -- or gosh, those eyes are the same eyes I looked at when I first held up a mirror. My soul is untouched by sagging skin or tired joints. My soul, my truth, has nothing to do with the image. How hard to remember that!

Perhaps the practice is to see what is unchanging in the reflection, not what is changing. Through that which is unchanged, perhaps change can be accepted with a bit more grace. By touching the part that doesn't move, the hub of the wheel, then one can move freely with the spokes.

I want Transparent Laraine to be my friend. I want her to show me in her image that nothing is changing, that I'm 18 again, that I'm not aging. I want Transparent Laraine to reach her hand through the window and be with me all the way through to whatever happens at the end.

But I get this sneaking suspicion that when I reach the end of the line, she'll turn and walk away, and I'll be left to move forward with all I ever had that was real -- the first thing I ever saw when I looked in a mirror, long before I attached a storyline to the rest of my reflection.

I see you, Transparent Laraine, and I guess when the day comes that I don't, I'll put on my traveling shoes (which will be fabulous and sparkly) and move along.

1 comment:

Andi said...

I wonder if our task is to see the unchanging as you said but also to see the change - like this glorious sunspot under my left eye - as beautiful, too. These are our battle scars (maybe it would be better to call them our battle metals) for surviving and flourishing in this life of ours.

Love you, my dear.