Mirrors (part 3)

January 2nd

Detail of “The Penitent Magdalen” by Georges de la Tour (c.1640)

My obsession with mirrors continues. It always flares up when I am in a place with numerous mirrors — like at the barber’s. When I was getting my haircut a couple of days ago, and I saw three distinct reflections of my face in three different mirrors. The main mirror in front of the chair had shown my face as very good-looking and proportional. Another mirror on the wall had shown my face as rather hollow and thin. And yet another mirror by the exit door had shown my face as bloated and unsymmetrical. Now — what is the genuine reflection of my face? What is exactly how I look like? I see now that I cannot be sure of even something so basic as my reflection. I mean, some features were the same — gray hair (or as I am fond of saying — “distinguished blonde”), prominent and crooked nose, small chin covered with a longish Van Dyke beard. But overall, the deeper reflected reality was quite different in different mirrors.

I don’t care anymore how I look like in the eyes of other people — all I want is for them to see a clean and properly groomed face. How they see other features — is beyond my interest and my care and my ability to change it. But I want to know just for myself how exactly I look like, dammed it! And it seems like an impossible task. I don’t think I can trust mirrors anymore.

Like in the detail of the painting above — the candle flame does not reflect in the mirror the same way we see it in front of it. I understand that there might be a delay from the moment light particles travel from the flame to the mirror to be reflected, but come on — the distance between them is so close that there shouldn’t be any difference that a human eye can capture. Is that a secret message conveyed and hidden in plain sight to future generations from the painter? I know that I will be very wary of mirrors in the future. I no longer trust them nor believe in the truthfulness of any mirror reflection.

But, I will keep a close watch on those lying mirrors. And I suggest everyone does the same.

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footsteps of the Furies

footsteps of the Furies

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“for they knew what sort of noise it was; they recognize, by now, the footsteps of the Furies”. Enjoying life on the road to recovery. Observing and writing.