“Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?”
Is that what pops into your head whenever you’re in front of a mirror? If, for no other reason, than you’re reminded of the children’s fairy tale, Snow White. It’s an interesting question. “What do you think when staring at a reflection of yourself”.
Don’t know why I didn’t write about it, last week, when I first saw this WordPress Daily Prompt question. “Finish this sentence: When I look in the mirror, I …” I guess it just didn’t capture my imagination back then, like it is now.
So what do you see? I’m curious.
I see a woman who resembles several different people. I see my mother in me. The colour of her eyes. Her colouring, in general. The shape of her face. Some of her expressions. I see my father in me. The size and shape of his eyes. His mouth. His smile. His nose. And then I also see my maternal grandmother in me. There are photographs of her, when she was young, where I look exactly like her. Or so I’ve been told.
Does that make me a composite? Where does ‘me, myself’ come in? How much of ‘me’ is just me? Which part of ‘me’ is just me?
Damned if I know.
Of course we are so much more than our outward appearance. But who we are, inside, isn’t what this daily prompt is about. Or is it?
What do you think?
I think it has to be. Otherwise this would just be about vanity. Which would be shallow. And kind of empty. Devoid of substance. Wouldn’t it?
What do you think?
Yet again it seems I’m the sum of many parts. Many parts of many people who came before me. Who made me. Who made me who I am. What I am. Probably including generations and generations who passed a long, long time before I was born. I’ll bet they’re in me, too.
Maybe my integrity comes from my father. My raucous laugh from my mother. My strength from my grandmother. My independence from my great grandmother. My stubborn streak from one of my aunts. My love of oysters from my grandfather. My interest (although not lately) in cooking from just about every woman on both sides of my family.
Maybe my penchant for telling stories came from a great, great, great, great aunt or uncle. Or a great, great, great, great, great grandfather. It could be. Why not?
Are you familiar with ‘pointillism’? It’s a painting technique. It’s when an image is actually made up of thousands of small dots of pure colour. Georges Seurat was the artist who introduced it. It’s so interesting. I’ve always liked it. From far, the image looks almost like any other. But the closer and closer you get, the more dots you see; and the less distinct the image becomes.
Upon reflection maybe that’s what I see staring back at me in the mirror. Sort of like a mosaic. Bits of other people. Bits of their features. Bits of their characters. Bits of their hearts. Bits of their souls. All combined to create a new image. Me. The same as them. Yet different. Constantly changing, with each new experience. With each passing year.
A life. A life in progress. That’s what I see when I look in the mirror.
What do you see?