Wednesday, November 9, 2011
I like mirrors. Not because of what they show me but because of what they are.
There was a pond down in the valley behind the house I grew up in. You had to walk through a bunch of locust trees and then you had to wind your way through a pine thicket that was far older than I ever imagined I'd be. Eventually you found yourself at a fence. Mr. Walker owned that fence and the field beyond it. He had quite a few dogs. He had Popper, to be precise. The other dogs were irrelevant to be quite honest.
Popper was a Dalmatian that hated everyone and everything that wasn't him. I'm convinced of this.
If you happened to find yourself lucky, Popper was somewhere on the other south forty. He was few and far between and hopefully well beyond the time it would take you to skirt that fence and run like hell across the alfalfa field. I ran that gauntlet like a Champion more times than I care to count.
Once in the clear, you had to sneak past the turkey coup. No, I have no idea why Mr. Walker had turkeys. They're loud and they alarm themselves so easily. (Yes... intentional)
Regardless, if you were sufficient enough to have overcome such obstacles, you would find yourself at the little stagnant pond that piqued the mere imagination of one little boy who happened to grow up to be your Father.
Now let me tell you about that pond.
It held no beauty other than what it demanded you see in it. It was no bigger than the first trailer I lived in when I first arrived in Georgia... and it was just as ugly, might I add.
But its water was as placid as any I'd ever seen.
Once you'd skirted away the wee bit of pond scum that might float by and once you'd settled yourself over top of that mirror... it gave you exactly what you had come to get. I'm 36 years old and nothing to this day has reflected me better than that little pool of stagnant water on Mr. Walker's property.
I used to drop stones into it, you know. I liked how the ripples would distort my reflection for a bit.
I never really gave a shit where they were washing ashore. The ripples, I mean. I never really cared if they carried a bit of my image or not.
It's funny to think about now. You know, realizing that your own reflection never defined you at all. It was always the ripples. They were what mattered. They ferried you across the pond, as it were. They impacted what you couldn't see. They had no choice.