Use the following as a stimulus for a piece of writing:
I am a special mirror. People move through it, leaving reflections of their psyche.
The inventor who created me committed an error. The images that pass through me remain locked there, even after the person has moved away. These images speak to each other, interact and create a lot of turmoil inside me. Their inter-related states are known only to me.
Look there …
Mandakini, Rukmini and Renuka are walking together in the garden. They do not belong to the same era or same geography. But they have come together. They know that they are not rivals or opponents. They are just reflections of each other, as they moved over to higher stages of evolution. The core is the same, an independent entity demanding recognition. Their existence is not relative to any other human being or object. They are not owned by the will of another. They do not live as the ‘honor’ of another man – be it a father, brother, husband, son, ruler or God. They are not ‘tainted’ by the choices they make. They just achieve a state of self-actualization.
The mirror on the bathroom wall holds so many secret truths it is pleasing to think it won’t give them up.
It has shared with me my own growth from boy to man, father, brother and friend. It has seen me cry, laugh, smile with joy, listen and accept what was often hard to accept.
My own growth it has observed with the same indifference. “You again,” I had felt it saying. “You are a bit older, and you may not like what you see. Your youthful looks are long gone and what is left is a man, aging and growing in some acceptance of what is his reality.”
You can’t escape the mirrors harsh reality. It’s there in all its stark truth, the flab around your gut is there, you can’t hide it, you can pretend it’s not there, but it jiggles to remind you that no matter what it isn’t going anywhere despite every attempt to do so.
Age allows you to think about who you are.
I recall in my last weeks of teaching the responses from my students to me leaving were heartwarming and also a wake up to the impact I had on them. We take so much for granted, so often we go through processes, like washing and shaving, never thinking what it might mean to those who look at us.
Our awakening to self-actualization can often be difficult, it’s like realizing you aren’t going to play test cricket, you aren’t going to win lotto and the novel you think about will never be much more than a thought.
What does happen is you come to see yourself for the person you are. Your flaws stand out, and you can’t do much about them. Your strengths are there, and you have to come to accept that they are as good as they are going to be. So, when a person comes along who shows an interest in you, you understand they are taking a risk because all they see is about all they will get.
And the reverse is true too. It is a big step in acceptance to see another person as a person who like you has faults but those faults are outweighed by the positives you see in them.
So those are my reflections on this prompt. (No pun intended)