Who do I see when I look in the mirror?
Whose eyes reside beneath uncertain brow?
When did that image take on such deep shadow?
Has time undone all the wonder somehow?
I have the same eyes I had in my childhood.
I have the same face beneath wrinkles and spots.
But, I have different needs, different dreams, different feelings,
And many more “can’t”s than I do of “why not”s .
So, who do I see when I look in the mirror?
Whose eyes glint bright beneath gathering tears?
Sister, and daughter and wife, but not mother,
searching for courage to face the next years.
So, we’re all that’s left now-
the wise women.
How can that be,
when we seem
to have so little
Is this how all previous generations
before us felt
when we thought
they had all the answers?
I suppose having one day’s more
experience than someone else
makes us wise
in their eyes.
And so, who would have guessed
I must be ready for these updated ideas,
because they are forming in my head
and they speak from the books that have
found their way to me.
I must be ready for the years of age and wisdom,
because I am discovering
that I do know
some of what I thought I didn’t know.
I must be ready for this next phase in my life,
because now I have perspective,
and a more realistic outlook on the world
that I didn’t have when I was younger.
I must be ready,
ready or not,
here I come…
Tomorrow, I’m going back to my life –
the same one I brought with me.
I so much want to change,
but I am afraid of what that will look like.
Still, I am already changed –
nothing is as it ever was.
The child becomes the adult
who becomes the elder
who moves on
to make way for the child.
The circle of change
as we know it.
So, tomorrow, I’m going back to my life –
the one that never was…
“Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?”
“I believe in Mary Worth. I believe in Mary Worth.”
The crazy things we say to mirrors, maybe even expecting answers.
What is actually in that mirror? Is it just reflected light, or an alternate universe, or maybe a window into our own souls?
Do we see what is really there?
Do we see things as they are?
We see the reverse. Not exactly what someone would see if they were looking back at us. They see left on left and right on right. We see left on right and right on left. So, can we ever know who we really are by looking in a mirror?
Sometimes, when I look, I see wrinkles and bags that can’t be mine. I see a tired smile and lack-luster eyes. I see the little girl I used to be, and the old woman I will become.
I see change in that mirror. And the things in the mirror are a lot closer than they appear.
I wonder if this is what beginning Alzheimer’s feels like? Nothing is quite familiar. Even the things you’ve had for years seem slightly askew. So you cling to something that finally reminds you of home. Like a picture of flowers or the cover of a book. And for an instant, you remember. For an instant, you feel like yourself before it fades into the reality – into the new reality.
I wander these rooms, looking for the familiar, looking for me somewhere in the new paint and the arrangement of my old furniture. I touch the bedspread. Pick up a dragon statue. Searching for a texture, a scent, a color.
Who am I now? I somehow got lost in the moving boxes. And I wonder if I’ll ever make it home again.