Decades ago, Jim bought an antique mirror at an estate auction in a small Missouri town north of here. The silvered part is a magnificent beveled rectangle, over two feet by a foot and a half, but the 3-D wooden frame is much larger with curved wood extending six inches above the reflecting surface. Along each side are flat wooden fluted pillars capped by a carving that is probably Greek or Roman or some other classical style that I don’t know. I’ll admit I didn’t pay great attention when Jim would give me too much architectural information at one time.
I don’t know the type of wood. It’s a rich warm brown that appears to have always been well cared for.
The mirror hangs in the front entry on the wall that borders the kitchen, and it has covered that wall for the last 36+ years. Even before we moved here, the mirror had a spot near the front door in our other houses.
I have held our babies up to that mirror to teach them what they looked like next to me, who they recognized. Those babies are now grown men, so that mirror has seen many changes.
Friends who visit usually come through our small front entry, but I suspect they rarely notice that mirror. When we swing the door wide open in welcome, they are looking at us, but as we shut the door, the mirror notices their presence.
I wonder how many people that mirror has reflected.
I know the mirror has reflected farmers, teachers, nurses, lawyers, artists, salesmen, printers, plumbers, doctors, librarians, cattlemen, businesswomen, judges, bankers, building contractors, businessmen, brick masons, scientists, photographers, pilots, professors, writers, musicians, architects, Santa, and those are just a few of our friends. Funny how I categorize people by their jobs, as if that defines them. I could have said mothers and fathers, children, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, cousins, grandparents, nieces, nephews, friends, and identified the reflections by their relationship to me. Perhaps I should have described them as the mirror sees them: blonde, brunette, bald, redheaded, gray-haired, tall, heavy, thin, short, old, young, with glasses or without. It’s also seen twinkling eyes and tears of grief, frowns and smiles, warm hugs and kisses and adolescent angst and cold shoulders.
The mirror has seen all of them, but I don’t know who else has seen themselves in that mirror. Murderers? Kings? I don’t know how many years the mirror has reflected people or where else it has hung.
I studied our mirror after reading Metropolitan Stories by Christine Coulson, a novel that’s really vignettes of behind-the-scene happenings at the Metropolitan Museum in NYC. She mentions an ancient mirror that has surely watched centuries of people parade by, and although some professions would have been different than my friends’ jobs (no pilots long ago), relationships and physical descriptions would have been the same.
I’m a slow reader because my mind goes off on tangents when I’m reading something that resonates with me. And that’s the hallmark of fine literature. Oh, I like a good mystery as well as the next guy, and of course, I like romances (see ad below), but when I read a novel that shows a universal truth, a takeaway I can apply to my life, the characters and setting that stay with me, then I know I’ve read a good book. What I like may not get rave reviews, but reading taste is an individual thing.
If you want to see your reflection in my old mirror and discuss our reading choices, drop by one of these fall days. The teapot is always hot.
P.S. My 2019 Christmas e-book, The Christmas Parade, is available on Amazon. Favorable reviews very much appreciated.
A Christmas Romantic Comedy of Good Intentions
When his boss commandeers newcomer-to-town Matt Dunkirk
to spearhead the Christmas parade, he’s at a loss how to even
start. He’s more focused on changing Alison Lancaster’s
negative attitude toward men. How will that Christmas parade
ever march successfully down Main Street?