Why Mirrors Lie

Mrs Widds seemed in a pensive mood last night.

As couples who have been together for a while tend to do, we both, for no particular reason, turned to each other at the same time. I, from my computer and she, from her book.

Perhaps something had been triggered by what she had been reading, for she looked at me and asked, probably rhetorically, “Why do mirrors never show us as we see ourselves?”

“Because they lie,” I answered without thinking.

It’s not their fault, of course, they were cursed, a long, long time ago: And this is how it happened …

When they were first invented, by a cronemage who chose the name Skögul after one of the Valkyries of legend, mirrors reflected all aspects of the viewer back to themselves.

First there was the Physical image, but it was a weak, thinly defined, image, because, of course, the physical is only the first stage of one’s Self. Layered on the Physical, was the Mental image, where one could, if one looked closely enough, discern all the thoughts one had ever created. The third layer was the Emotional, thick and full of drama and beauty, it was the layer that created a three dimensional aspect to the other two. Finally came the Spirit layer that bound the other three to it and thereby giving the viewer what was known as a True Reflection.

Skögul made them, freely available to all who asked.

When she felt her life drawing to a close she made a special mirror that enabled her Spirit, at the moment of her Death, to brush lightly across the surface of all the mirrors she’d created, in a kind of a Blessing. Then she was no more.

Eventually one of Skögul’s mirrors crossed paths with a wizard. The sort of wizard who had long white hair and a long white beard, both longer, in his estimation than all the other wizards he knew. In fact the wizards gathered together once a year for a beard & hair measuring competition, as is the way with wizards who are concerned more with the length of their, beards, than being wizards.

This particular wizard looked at his reflection in the Skögul Mirror, and to his horror and disgust, saw the true nature of his Spirit.

He was also bald and cleanshaven, which wouldn’t do at all.

He gathered his dignity around him like a shroud and, ignoring the twitching eye in his reflection, cast a mighty spell that broke the enchantment on every one of the Skögul Mirrors, so they would show him only what he wanted to see.

Skögul, of course, had the last laugh. The wizards curse didn’t quite work out for him. From that moment on, all the mirrors ever made, in all the world, would only ever reflect back the thinnest, meanest, layer of what a person truly was.

Every now and then though, in dusty corners of second-hand stores, or mouse-nibbled boxes in attics and basements, and wrapped in cloth that smelled of mists on lakes, and sunsets on ancient stones, and if one is very lucky, a true Skögul Mirror will appear, and a True Reflection will be shown.

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The Perfect Riposte …

… on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

Found this on a ‘fun memes’ thread at Permies.com, an all-things-permaculture-y site.

At Last! Kate Kane is HERE!

 

…. makes me want to sing like Etta James.

A Bit More About Doris

When I heard the news this morning, that Doris Day had died, my first reaction was, ‘Oh, that’s so sad’, and I put up a ‘Bon Voyage’ post.

I knew immediately which song video I wanted to include, because it has been a favourite of mine for decades.

A little while later I was listening to and watching the video again and I burst into tears, the big gut-wrenching sobbing kind of tears, but not, perhaps, for the reasons you might imagine.

When I was growing up, there were no songs about people like me. There were no movies, no TV shows, about people like me. There were books written about people like me, but the characters almost always went insane or died tragic deaths.

As I grew older I learned there was a large part of society, that I believed I was a part of, that wanted me dead too, or securely locked away from them, and at the least, to never be happy, never have a cultural identity, to never live freely, and most importantly never, ever, fall in love. (that part of society never goes away. Sometimes they’re able to butcher us with impunity and sometimes their brutalities are censured, but they never, ever, leave us alone)

Isolated from each other by all aspects of mainstream cultural expressions, we found our voices elsewhere. We started writing and singing and recording our own songs about women loving women. We started writing and publishing our own stories about women loving women. (mostly with happy endings, because we desperately needed to know that is was possible, but occasionally an unhappy ending, because we never fooled ourselves into believing that ‘happily ever after’s’ existed all the time)

And every now and then, there came from the mainstream, moments that called to us out of the relentlessly heterosexual cultural offerings, and we saw our Selves, inside the dialogue and characters of television shows and movies and books, and inside the lyrics of songs. (a secret code, like that ‘certain smile’ we give each other when we pass each other on the street)

Some of those songs became our cultural anthems, to be shouted from the rooftops, with all the anger and rage and passion we could muster. Some we danced to late at light in underground, and illegal, nightclubs, and in our living-rooms, because sometimes that was the only safe place where we could gather. And sometimes we cried them into our pillows, holding on to them for dear life. And sometimes our friends and lovers played then at our funerals. (or at the wakes we held because the ‘blood’ family wouldn’t allow us to attend the funeral)

‘Secret Love’ was one of those songs, of course it was. (pretty much the entire movie was, actually)

-oOo-

A bonus video, because I’ve had a good cry, and it’s time to smile and remember the good times.

This scene happens before ‘Calam’ rides out in her bright-and-shiny buckskins, a’singin’ and a’ridin’ along. You put the two songs together and wadda you got? A secret love that’s no secret anymore.

Bon Voyage, Doris Day

Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

This is a report commissioned by the United Nations. Wikipedia has an outline that’s worth reading. One sentence leapt off the page at me and it goes like this …‘The total biomass of wild mammals has decreased by 82%, while humans and their farm animals now make up 96% of all mammalian biomass on Earth…’

And then there’s this bit …‘humanity has rendered 23% or Earth’s land ecologically degraded and no longer usable’. On a planet where only 29% of it’s entire surface is land.

Are you angry yet? Is there a sick feeling in your stomach yet?

The UN SDG (United Nations Sustainable Development Goals) website has a much more in-depth breakdown, and it’s just as horrifying.

All those facts and figures aren’t what’s coming, they’re what’s here, they’re real, and they’re going to get worse because politicians will tweet and squeak and blame the ‘other’ side. Their willfully thoughtless followers will do the same. Corporations will continue to use ‘jobs’ and ‘profits’ and ‘shareholders’ to justify their actions.

Others will use the good old standby of ‘no-one else is stepping up so why should I?’

Others will trot out their ‘sustainability’ credentials as if that absolves them. ‘Unwilling to comprehend that ‘sustainable’ is no longer enough.

There are men and women, and children, all over the world, millions of us, who resolutely face how things are, and are doing what we can to change this catastrophic trajectory, but right now in this moment, it’s not enough.

It’s not enough. This I believe.

More and more people will take action over the coming years, and perhaps that trajectory will be swayed. This I hope.

Right now, I’m going to take my tea and sit in my garden and I’ll probably have a good cry because my heart is hurting … and then … and then … I’ll watch the newly awakened bees, along with all sorts of other creatures, pollinate our strawberries, and the dandelions and buttercups.

This too, is where I find my hope.

Strawbs and Co

Strawbs and Co

Spirit House – Part 1

Most of the time these days my mind is coursing throughout the galaxy with my characters in my new story, (alluded to in my last post) so much so that I’m finding it hard to be present in the here-and-now, and when I do turn up, I’m ambushed by my body that has allergic reactions that put me out of action for three days, or migraines of varying strengths, or just general wear-and-tear on a body that’s spent more than half of it’s existence getting by with one-and-a-half knees.

(I give thanks to Efficacia Herbilaria, the Goddess of the herb, Star Anise on a regular basis this time of year. I’d do the ‘burnt offering’ thing but that would defeat the whole purpose)

It’s no wonder that I wander around in a semi-coherent daze, and want to get back to my galaxy hopping companions with more alacrity than is seemly in a lass of my three-score years, and seven months.

There are, of course household and garden tasks to hold my attention, relationships to maintain, the making of salves, repairing old journals, etc, and many and varied crafty projects to keep my feet firmly in this Realm … for a while at least.

So, we start with the basics, a table, lots of scrap cardboard, and an assortment of manufacturing tools …

... and a long stalk of bamboo, apparently, which is probably why the secateurs are there too, possibly

… and a long stalk of bamboo, apparently, which is probably why the secateurs are there too, possibly

I used this video on YouTube, as my inspiration. Beware though, if this sort of thing has any attraction for you, you will disappear into a nightmarish rabbit-hole from which there is very little chance for your safe return unscathed. I have the scathes to prove it.

I decided to go with a cardboard base rather than a plastic jar, because if there’s a hard way to do something, I’ll be in the deep end before you can say, “Maybe that isn’t …”, and ended up with this …

 

The front stoop, with spider-webbed portholes ...

The front stoop, with spider-webbed portholes …

... and in the rear windows,two cats having an intense conversation ...

… and in the rear windows, two cats having an intense conversation …

... which went on into the wee small hours of the morning

… which went on into the wee small hours of the morning

Next it was time to cover everything in paper clay. The recipe for which I got from this video by the same Irish lass as previously noted.

A close-up of the feline conversationalists while their window frames were being formed

A close-up of the feline conversationalists while their window frames were being formed

 And here it is, drying out in some late afternoon sunbeams on the front step.

Mmmmm, beams

Mmmmm, beams

-oOo-

Next … Part 2 – The Paint Job … see you then. I’m off, back to the other side of the galaxy to see what kind of trouble that motley crew have got themselves into while I was away.