Monday, October 13, 2014

Mirror, mirror on the wall...

I cannot even begin to explain what is happening in my head sometimes EVERY MINUTE of every waking hour.  That is not at all to say, that my sleeping thoughts are fewer or make more sense .  But that's another conversation for another time and I chuckle and shake my head in the wondering of my wandering mind.

I cannot describe it as rabbit trails, because for heaven's sake there is no rabbit on this planet that would run that hard for that long... every once in a while I throw out a random thought to the Captain just to relieve the pressure a little.  Most of the time he is good enough at covering the "blankness" in his stare and contributes the appropriate, yet non-committal  "huh" so that I don't feel the need to explain where it came from. 

But every once in a while he is so caught off guard that his expression gives him away before he has a chance to cover.  I probably definitely have an unhealthy desire to be understood so I dive head first into a promising explanation that connects the mental dots that got me to that point. 

I am overly entertained to hear it spoken aloud believing that the audio adds veracity and clarity.  His eyebrows usually say otherwise and I am left with the reaffirmation that my cranial activity needs to be saddled up and reined into submission like a wild horse...instead it remains more akin to the bull in the ring at the rodeo or a hamster in his wheel. 

None of this has a thing to do with anything except to reinforce the title of the blog..."Just a thought" and can serve as a warning that if it was a paper book, an entire forest could be consumed attempting to record the firings beneath my hair follicles.

Today my obsessive nonsensical thought...the cost of a mirror...

Cross cultural experiences add such richness to living.  Every once in a while the contrast in a particular area makes me take pause and circles over and over again in my head.  Living in a country rich in all manner of material things exaggerates the absence of possessions in poverty stricken third world environments.  As the years and trips roll around in my memory, every once in a while God shows me something true about myself.  Proves again that more is not necessarily better and there is a real freedom in simplicity.

Today For weeks, I have been swirling over the first mirror brought into the children's home in Uganda.  It was not intentional really, but attached to a wardrobe purchased for the closet-less room of our house mom Janet.  Its the only one and generally behind a closed bedroom door.  Children of all ages wake, bathe, dress for school and leave for the day with no reflection of their outward appearance.  Our female staff go through the same routine without the concern or ability to see what everyone else will as they go about their day.   

The number of mirrors in our home and the number of times we catch a glimpse of ourselves during a single day whether we intentionally seek it or not is mind boggling.  I am the first person I see in the morning and often the last real person at night.  Getting into the shower, brushing my teeth, and all manner of readying for a day happens within the capture of a rectangle reflection or two.  Closet doors, leave nothing to imagine in my clothed head to toe, and then 10 steps down the hall and another captures my profile.  Mirrors are framed like artwork and flipped down from the visor each one sending messages that boldly state   "acceptable today or not".  

Message recorded and then worn like an identity when the image we wear encounters the outside.  To deny it affects my mood or attitude or my strategic "hide and seek" on some days would be a lie.   To stand before a closet full and contemplate a trip to the mall is a direct result of the reflection on the other side of the door.  The cost of and time spend with a blow dryer or make up bag is an effort to hear the inaudible "well done" or "do over" or an all too often "waste of time" caption under the image. 

My sudden awareness of mirrors is by no means an exercise in self loathing but instead a remarkable acuteness of the time and expense and effects of seeing ourselves from the outside.  I heard Beth Moore refer to FACEBOOK as Fakebook and I felt immediately convicted not that I am contributing anything false, but that we take how many photos? to get  the most flattering and cringe when someone else tags or posts our image and we HATE it not because it isn't us, but because it really is and for heaven's sake real life isn't all that flattering.

Its easy for me to imagine a world without mirrors, where our sense of presentable is maybe more about the heart and the way we look toward others instead of worrying about how we look to them.  Several weeks each year there is some freedom I see and sense and admire.  

Less isn't always better..".the google" says mirrors were invented in the first century so clearly our physical image has always had some importance... God created us in his image so perhaps that is what we are really looking for when we gaze at our reflections...some sign that there is beauty stamped in us regardless of whether we can see it in the rectangle on the wall.

Genesis 1:27 "God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them"