Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Mirror, Mirror

My neighbor has a beautiful house, immaculately maintained, professionally landscaped, just lovely.  They are always working on it, big, huge, sometimes even mysterious projects ~ when they're in the USA that is.  A few years ago they had a house built in their home country and now spend their time between the two.  It actually seems like within hours of their arrival back in NY, the contractor's van is outside and the sounds of the next project have begun.  This last one was especially noisy, I'm still not exactly sure what they had done, but I do know that the workers were cutting marble, bricks, tiles, etc. for hours on end, for weeks on end (which as a migraine sufferer was NOT peachy keen) and now it often smells like burning wood.  So since the work as done in the garage area and they already HAVE a fireplace, my guess is a wood burning stove, hence the smell of wood burning!   My husband thinks it's a brick oven, but I think that's just wishful thinking on his part, because who would be making pizza at 7:00 in the morning?

My point, one of them anyway, is there is always something going on next door.  I keep thinking, "Hey, you want a really big project? Come help fix up my house, it'll drive up your property value!" LOL Our house looks so sad next to theirs!  So today I was washing dishes - old houses are not equipped with such amenities like dishwashers - and I see something new in their yard, which I can see some of from the window over the kitchen sink.  I couldn't tell what it was at first, had me really perplexed for a while, then I realized it was a mirror.  A very long mirror.  What plans she has for it I don't know - she's pretty crafty on top of everything else!

I'm looking dead on at a mirror and I'm not seeing myself.  No, sorry, much to my daughter's disappointment we're not a family of vampires.  Having a lot of dishes to get through (how do 4 people create so much mess?) I have time to ponder this.  Naturally I understand distance and how improbable it would be for me to be reflected back from inside my kitchen, etc. etc.  what I mean is, I start thinking about where else am I, or people in general not seeing  themselves?  I've said before in another post about labeling ourselves and how mirrors can't reflect our true selves.  This isn't what I'm getting at here.  Here I'm talking about NOT seeing, NOT being there.  I don't know, maybe I'm just in a melancholy mood, but it seems like from the minute we're born we're on display and then all the people in our lives, parents, teachers, friends, lovers, bosses, spouses, the media all throw these parameters, these, ideas about how we should be, act, talk, look.  How, when do we actually, if ever, know our true selves and how do we recognize them?

I don't recognize myself sometimes when dealing with my children.  I catch myself too late thinking of a better way to have said something, explain something - like the irony of shouting at them to stop yelling. LOL  I've never been an angry person, so when I'm frustrated at them for giving me a hard time at bedtime yet again, I'm uncomfortable with myself.  I keep thinking of the Talking Heads song "Once In A Lifetime"  the line that goes "...well, how did I get here?"

Another train of thought I had is how often do we look at something or maybe someone and not really see it/them?  Are you so busy in your life that you don't really see the people you pass everyday? The cashier at the supermarket who never smiles, the woman walking her children to school with her iPod on instead of interacting with them?  I think we are moving so fast these days that we don't see anything anymore.  That we're always looking for something to post on Youtube that will go virual and give us our 15 minutes of fame, but not for truth, for peace for ourselves.  We're blinded by Hollywood, by reality shows that aren't even real that we're not even paying attention to what's right in front of us.  There is so much going on in the world, so many terrible things that I cancelled my newspaper subscription because I couldn't take in the bad news anymore.  Obviously that doesn't change what happens, but it does change the vibe in my home, what we discuss, etc and I can still keep up on big news online or on the radio.  Though I may cut these out as well - we'll see. I don't know.  I'm not too big on ignorance, but they do say it's bliss!  And I save money!

As often happens since there is that jukebox running 24/7 in my head, Ten Years After's "I'd Love To Change The World"  starts to play ...."I'd love to change the world, but I don't know what to do, so I'll leave it up to you."  Maybe that IS what's wrong, too many people are leaving it up to everybody else.  Let's start by leaving it up to the people we see in the mirror.  You with yours, me with mine ~ but not the one in my neighbor's yard as seen from my kitchen window ;D
George Bancroft: "Conscience is the mirror of our souls, which represents the errors of our lives in their full shape."
Eugene O'Neill: “Life is a solitary cell whose walls are mirrors.”
Ernest Holmes: "Life is a mirror and will reflect back to the thinker what he thinks into it.
Rumi: "We are the mirror as well as the face in it."
And of course there is the wicked Queen from Snow White, "Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the fairest of them all?"