When a baby looks in a mirror
It sees an ever-deepening mystery,
An ever-changing reversal of the familiar,
Something known and unknown,
Knowable, yet essentially unknowable.
A mirror is a fascinating glimpse
Into a place distant yet here,
Me and never me.
When adults look into a mirror
We pretend that we understand what we see
We think we know that person
As we give them a quick scan
To see if everything is as it should be.
But do we ever see beyond what we expect?
Do we ever notice
The increasing lines
And signs of wear and worry?
Do we ever dare to look into those eyes
that have seen so much
and transfer the weight
of each days burdens
and each years dreams
lost, forgotten or broken
across that familiar forehead
We look into a mirror
And think we know what we see.
Children know better.
We used to call mirrors ‘looking glasses’
And believed they had magical powers
And could answer our deepest questions
“Mirror, mirror on the wall…”
Before they became so familiar,
We didn’t believe or trust them
And marveled at their power over us.
Children are still in awe of this power.
I lived one summer in a house without mirrors.
Whenever I caught a stray reflection of myself
In a window or public shiny surface,
I was always surprised.
I had almost forgotten
What it was like
To inhabit a two-dimensional surface
And call it home.
Morf Morford considers himself a free-range Christian who is convinced that God expects far more of us than we can ever imagine, but somehow thinks God knows more than we do. To pay his bills, he’s been a teacher for adults (including those in his local county jail) in a variety of setting including Tribal colleges, vocational schools and at the university level in the People’s Republic of China. Within an academic context, he also writes an irreverent ESL blog and for the Burnside Writers Collective. As he’s getting older, he finds himself less tolerant of pettiness and dairy products.