observation

The Face in the Mirror

The little boy looked at mother, father, aunts, uncles, grandmothers, and he saw white hair, no hair, slow movement, old. He knew he was different, the same family, but a different category; he was young and would always be young. He wasn’t sure how the others got to be old, but he suspected they had always been old in spite of the pictures he saw scattered about the house. The people in the pictures, he was told, were the very same people he knew, only the pictures were taken years before when they were young. He never disagreed with this decree; that would be impolite. It was impossible. He knew deep down that he would never be old like his father; that just wasn’t going to happen.

Now, looking in the mirror, seeing bald head, grey beard, dark circles, wrinkles, he saw old, more years than his father had ever reached. And yet, the boy was still there looking at the old man. Did my father also look in this same mirror, he asked himself? Did he look with young eyes at an old face and wonder when that happened? Was there ever a point in time when the observer and the observed were one and the same? Or was it always to be one of the mysteries of life that perspective can only be gained by disparate points of view? Only with two eyes can you see the depth of reality.

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