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Thursday, March 22, 2012

when the mirror doesn't believe you're invincible...

Mirrors are a strange blessing.

Today, I was walking past one, reflective surface returning my image to the world with that unfeeling objectivity for which they are so well lamented, and I couldn't help but stop and laugh. I looked downright ridiculous. I was frazzled, my hair was poking out from my hat in a hundred places, and I had a dangerously wild look in my eyes.

It was kind of like something out of a bad psycho-killer movie.

I love to laugh. It is one of those brief human experiences that, along with breathing and sleeping, keeps us alive. But laughter at oneself? Ah! That is all the sweeter. It is the best kind of affirmation; if I forget that I am human, and therefore incredibly far from perfect or poignant, someone PLEASE hold a mirror in front of my face.

I take myself too seriously most of the time. I don't do it on purpose, and I don't think it is an intrinsically bad thing. Plenty of good has come from this serious attitude toward myself and what I undertake. But it is not liberating; on the contrary, it is quite demanding. To constantly believe in everything I am doing with a nearly inappropriate level of sincerity requires a commitment to maintaining the ideal version of myself, at least in my own head. When I fall short of that ideal self (which is far too often), it is a terrible disappointment.

But then I remember: that ideal self is a dream. I have bad days; I have ugly days; I have dumb days, and fun days; I slip up; I fall down (every day); I giggle too loudly, sneeze too loudly, speak too loudly, whisper too loudly; I just don't get much of anything right. So, the dream is in my head and the reality is in the mirror, staring back at me and collapsing into a strange sort of laughter - a very wild, very free laughter.

And isn't freedom the goal always, anyway?

May your coffee be strong, your passions electric, and your laughter easy.
-michael

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