smeared reflection of woman

Who am I?

In Insight and Experience by Carmel BellLeave a Comment

I am staring into a mirror and the mirror is staring back at me. But what does the mirror see? Me, or something else…? I watch the mirror silently speak, lip sync perfect, the wisdom is inscrutable. I speak but the words are gone, absorbed by the silver that gives no warmth and fogs with every breath.I watch the mirror silently speak, lip sync perfect, the wisdom is inscrutable. I speak but the words are gone, absorbed by the silver that gives no warmth and fogs with every breath.

I have never seen me; just a reflected image.

From the reflection I know that there is no one behind me, no one in front of me… there is only me… but I am not there. The mirror reflects but holds none of that which is me. I am a thought, an idea, of a shallow image, surface visible, internally darkened and hidden with a depth that travels down the Amazon of my soul. I am alterable and fluid.

I am looking for me, for answers to who I am. I am on a journey through a quiet land that has no path and yet bears more footprints than I knew was there.

And the mirror reflects only what I can see. Is this truly me?

I no longer recognise me.

Who am I?

Now that I no longer know who I am, who am I, who have I become?

I am older. I am more bent over. My body has changed shape, my hair has changed colour and all these changes have happened slowly over time, blending into the mix of me.

Wrinkles in the skin accepting moisture, plumping out, only to sag again hours later. Breasts falling, needing a bra. Hair graying, needing dye or a cut, or both. Teeth yellowing, eyes reddening, nails flaking. It will… is… happening.

But the change is already here. Right here, right now. Seen only by the mirror that reflects only what I have always been. It is not even an accurate reflection but a reversed image.

I have never seen me, only a reversed image of me, and I no longer know who I am.

Was I always lost? Did I not see that before?

I have never seen me.

Could it be possible that someone who is not me knows me better than I know myself? I am puzzled by the selective memories that I have. They seem so real, these memories. Laughing at a shared joke that only I got, crying into a glass of wine that tasted awesome to me, bitter to you. Did I enjoy the wine, or didn’t I.

What was that delightful moment that gave me this laughline?

What was that intense grief that gave me this wrinkle next to my left eye, running into my cheek?

Where did that cut go? The one that is deeper than skin, laying bare almost to the bone on my knee, the one that wouldn’t stop bleeding after I had fallen to the ground and then managed to drag myself up again?

Where are my war wounds? Because I cannot find them in the mirror. Yet it is the mirror reflection that people see when they see me.

That is all that they see of me. They see the story but not the journey, and I am the journey.

I am the cuts, the bumps, the bruises. I am the heartaches and the forgetfulness. I am the moments that sting and ache and itch. I am the person who hires guinea pigs to mow my lawn and weed my garden. I am that person who won’t push down my garage because the possums love to live in the walls and come out to talk to us when we are in there. I am the person who irons face-washers and tea-towels, who teaches her children that their body is a temple – so be careful who you let in because, once they are in there, you can’t ever get their energy out.

But hey, in this self-indulgent society where anything goes and everything is your right, earned or not, special or not, and you can sleep with who you want to, if you want them to be part of your cellular history. None of my children sleep around. Have I done them a favour in this crazy world where sex is love and love is sex and you can get your college degree paid for if you do favours for sad, wealthy men? This society says everybody has the freedom to do whatever they want. Some of us will fight for that right, bearing arms, bearing fists, bearing taunting words and others of us will sit back and observe only, in fear of the possible consequences of actions. Some will actually, shockingly, observe another being, human or animal, being beaten, mutilated, raped or murdered and look the other way.

But are they doing what they want to do? Or what other people want them to do? Are we so afraid of stepping over the line, over the limit, and on to other peoples boundaries while maintaining our own rights to encroach on theirs? Say what you want, do as you will and the devil be damned somewhere in between then and recent history. We offend and end with a LOL or a ROTFL. As if that makes anything right.

Where has the honest belly laugh gone? The connection of a shared aside between souls? Where has it gone?

Who am I? The world has changed so much that I don’t know who I am within it any more. I am outdated, superseded, superfluous, irrelevant and disregarded – and all this happened in the last few years.

Do I like black or white? Can’t I like both? Why do I have to commit, but why shouldn’t I?

I am asked my opinion but my opinion is ranked on age. Good manners are now superseded. Instead of ‘Thank you’ we say nothing. We demands our rights, our respect, demand that no one ‘diss’ us, but we call out with a ‘Yo!’, push ahead in line, speak rudely to people in shops, and worst of all, no one says hello as they walk past you in the street. Eyes down, zombie shuffle.

The world puzzles me, like a Rubiks cube that I can only solve by pulling it apart. People get married nowadays with caveats. No more sharing of assets, no more stopping sexual infidelity. Because, hey, we all have the right to do what we want.

Why marry anyone any more? It is old fashioned and stupid; you might have to change your name or we will all live in a world of hyphenated surnames. P. Smith-Murray-Alcott-Frank is marrying Foster-Scott-Chin to have children who are Smith-Murray-Alcott-Frank-Foster-Scott-Chin. More name than available paper. Why not just buy a dress and have a party?

But strangely, the homosexual community is fighting a hard battle to have just that right. They want it recognised that they are in love and willing to share cold hands, wet socks, washing chores and bad days.

So marry someone with all your heart. Love with all your heart. Accept blame for the problems in your relationship as a couple. Both of you. It takes one set of genitals to commit infidelity but it takes two hearts to create the rift and then bridge it.

So who am I? I am the person in the mirror but reversed. I am the person who has forgiven and been forgiven for different sins. I am the person who says ‘Go sit on a mountain top and come back if you ever can…’ but I am the person who finally went to the mountaintop. More than once, and I am going again, only this time I am taking that person with me. The person who holds my heart and holds my hand in the middle of the night.

I am the person who does not like to box up bits of me into acceptable parcels like a tweet. I don’t want to LOL when I can laugh. I sure as hell am not rolling on the floor guffawing at anything. I don’t want to BRB. I want to be Right Here Right Now. I want to listen to me, to my heart. I want to be hurt when I am betrayed, cry when I am insulted, and know that I have a right to be because you promised.

I want to believe you. Mirror. I want to believe you. I want to believe that I have earned the grey hair and the wisdom that came with it. I want to believe that the wrinkles are a road map and not something to be ‘plumped’ out. I want to believe that the eyelashes fluttering in the wind are mine, that the hairs on my chin come from a stray cat brushing by, that the colours of my nails are beautiful.

I want to believe that the hot cross bun I just ate was good for me, if not in body then in spirit at least.

Mirror, mirror on the wall. You see me clearest of all, but only because I am looking. Even though you only show a small part of me, I can move and shift the angle of sight. I can be revealed yet hidden at the same time.

Mirror, mirror on the wall. I am looking and I can see.


Carmel is a medical intuitive, speaker and author of ‘When all Else Fails’. She is recognised as a leading alternative health authority and she now shares her insights from her unique career. She is a healer determined to have fun at home and at work.

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