Today's Wonder of the World is...the Mirror!
Flickr photo by bubbo-tubbo
It's a wonder that I can write about the wonders of mirrors, now that I think about it, since antique mirrors kind of freak me out!
I fear that as I stare into a mirror, an old face will mysteriously appear in the corner and wave back at me. I'll be just like Bailey White's aunt in this favorite book of mine.
The face will have crow's feet and a furrowed brow, eerily familiar, and yet strange.
Wait a minute! That's my face!
Ha Ha. Funny!
Or maybe mirrors freak me out because I still haven't recovered from the childhood trauma brought on by the Brothers Grimm. (Thanks Jacob! Thanks Wilhelm!) We had two volumes of Grimm's Fairy Tales in our living room, and I'd always walk a wide swath around them, averting my eyes so as not to see the books pulsing on the shelves, the wicked stepmother inside, trying to get out and slip under my bed.
Flickr photo by pomogalaxy
Disney, your Evil Queen looks like Miss America next to Grimm's version.
Though I do like that Man in the Mirror.
Shoot. Now I can't get Michael Jackson's song out of my head.
Sorry folks. At least it is a good song.
Mirrors are a wonder.
Flickr photo by ggnyc
That one there dates from 1425 BC. 1425BC!!!
It's made of obsidian, volcanic glass.
Mirrors have been around a long, long time.
And before mirrors, people found other ways to check their make up or see if their fig leaf was on straight. Just like we do today.
But don't stare too long...
Flickr photo by Classicist
or people will call you a narcissist.
Do you know what I love about mirrors?
I love to watch children look at themselves in the mirror, so free of self-criticism, just delighted with their own bodies.
Well...I like to watch children gaze at themselves up to a certain point.
During our time in France, I had a certain child (who shall remain nameless lest he/she reads this and gets mad at me) who used to spend our entire dinner staring at his/her reflection in a mirror hanging on the wall. He/she would eat a bite, look in the mirror, and watch himself/herself chew, tilt his/her head, swallow, and smile. At first it was cute, and then it was funny. And then it was downright irritating! We'd try to have a family conversation and would have to constantly interrupt his/her mirror gazing! We finally had to move him/her to another chair so he/she wouldn't be distracted by his/her own beauty!
At least he/she had a good self image. Yuk yuk.
Most kids also love fun house mirrors.
Flickr photo by curious spider
I do too--if they make me look tall and svelte, with no beetle eyes.
Flickr photo by One Good Life
And no cone head.
When you were little, did you ever use mirrors to decipher a secret code?
Flickr photo by Krelic
That reminds me, did you ever spend hours in the backseat of your parents' car staring at your dad's eyebrows in his rear view mirror? Did you ever notice a second set of eyes and a second pair of glasses sitting on top of his head?
It's as if you stepped through the looking glass
Flickr photo by obsessedscrapbooker
to a land of four eyed fathers with two pairs of glasses.
Fathers who didn't know why you were laughing your silly head off in the backseat, when you weren't even sitting upside down with your feet in the back window. (Didn't you do that? I was buckled in, honest!)
See? Mirrors can bring laughter! Mirrors can bring joy!
Mirrors can keep people from being terribly depressed, that is, if they live in Viganella, Italy.
Have you heard about their mirror project? Viganella is situated in a steep valley which gets no direct sun from November 11 to February 2 each year. Its citizens had the blues until a giant mirror came to the rescue! Scientists installed a 8 meter x 5 meter computer controlled mirror in the town in order to reflect direct sunlight into the village piazza. Problem solved! Thanks, mirror!
Animals like mirrors too. Dolphins, pigs, llamas, orangutans, and several others are able to recognize a reflection of themselves.
Flickr photo by Talva
Hey, it's a queenly crowned crane. Do you think she sees herself in the mirror? Or does she think it's a rival queen, perhaps younger and more beautiful than she, ready to steal away the title of the fairest of them all?
Help! I'm having Snow White flashbacks!
Save me, man in the mirror!
You there, how do you feel about mirrors? Have I left any important ones out?
Reflect on this, and comment away!
But before you go, take a few seconds to watch a puppy play with the dog in the mirror. Enjoy!