In my hallway, there is a big mirror above the sideboard. Neatly arranged, candles crowd the space under the mirror. This morning my brain does a double-take and a summersault into involuntary waking up.
I’m usually blind and deaf without my hot coffee, first thing in the morning. My perception of the apartment and the world around me is a habitual one at best. Casually, the world is used to me sleep-drunkenly navigating the space on my way to my morning deeds.
Well, I’m known to be on autopilot for almost two hours after waking up, but what I see in that mirror, makes my mind do a record scratch. It is a splash of cold dread and incomprehensive fractal butterflies in my stomach trying to find my throat.
It isn’t the shadow thing that lurks in the mirror from time to time. I know him though, and his appearance makes my nape burn and the fine hair on my lower arm stand on end with static electricity. He is a curious thing, inspecting everything that is reflected on his side, occasionally taking and returning objects that interest him for some reason.
No, this time I see a renaissance picture of a Goddess being surrounded by three different layers of meaningful details, sheep clouds in the color of yarrow flowers, and unseen rays of light. At least, I think it is a religious picture of some kind. Probably. I remember these kind of frescoes and paintings from Catholic churches and museums for art sporting variations of saints, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. The entity in the center of the picture has three different young women standing beside and around each other stretching and joyously dancing, moving like a flag in underwater currents, undulating with heavy weight of something otherworldly, something not meant to be perceived. It is etched into the backside of the mirror, just revealing itself if you looked at it from the right angle, with the right lighting. As faint as it is, its clarity shines directly at me. I feel like I’m staring into a bright light or the sun. The skin on my face tries to warm up and shrink at the same time.
I forget about coffee and the loo and stand in front of the mirror, my reflection perfectly aligning with the central axis of vision, making my bedhead the origin, the egg, from which the picture has broken out. The peculiarity of the moment, seeing myself as part of the strange radiant art, stops time and I feel transported back to the shore of a massive ocean after a rainy March night. Something moves at the horizon, undulating, dancing like wind moving clouds but barely visible. It is enormous, occupying almost all the space where the deep dark waters meet the cold hollow sky. The sharp breeze and the breathing that resembles the waves coming onto the shore are right by my ears. There is salt and a sour copper smell in the air.
My feet are glued to the place, my mind full with what I see, my ears only hearing the metronome of breath reaching my ankles, licking with cold tears at the edge of suffering through time; indulging, caressing then letting go. Its life and death is human, it dawns on me without surprise, without malic or sadness. It is a matter of fact.
I don’t know how long I stand transfixed with the sight in the mirror, but when I can turn my gaze, the spell has broken and I continue with my search for coffee and following nature’s call.
The next time I look into the mirror, it is blank as usual, only reflecting visible things, the mundane world. No more vast oceans and an rolling God on the horizon with a breath at human ears and human tears washing human feet. What is this about? I do not understand the hints. Maybe some coffee will help.
The moment of meaning is lost. I only remain with the weight of it, and the knowledge, that I’ve been shown something very rare.