On looking into mirrors

Some reflections on the passage of time

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  • Published 20200505
  • ISBN: 9781922268761
  • Extent: 264pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

YOU LOOK INTO the mirror. There are a number around the house and every now and then one of them becomes an attraction. Your skin is clear. Your hair is thick. The face looking back at you is as it should be when you are about to step outside. A bit serious, perhaps. You think, while somehow entranced by the enigma of yourself in reverse image, that you’d better get a move on – but you don’t think, in this, the twentieth year of your life, goodness, don’t I look young. That’s one thing, in front of a mirror, you have never thought and, personal history suggests, vanity notwithstanding, won’t ever.

Time passes. A lot of time – though in fact an inconsequential amount of time for the Earth, upon which you dwell, as it journeys eternally around the sun – but it’s a great deal of time for you, now getting ready to go out. You look into the mirror. It is a mistake to do this. There are several mirrors in the house, several too many; a couple more than there are members of the household. Your skin has wrinkled. Your hair has thinned. This has happened without due consultation with the enigmatic person who stares back at you. It is an outrage. You look like one of those marginal people it was not within your comprehension ever to be: a grandparent. So why don’t you feel like one? This development seems to have been rather sudden. Each time you are surprised to find yourself in the unkind mirror, you most certainly do think, accurately, in this, the sixty-­something year of your life, goodness, don’t I look old. That’s one thing, you ruthlessly admit, you will continue to do.

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