Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Mirror, Mirror On The Wall...

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!
Kind of.

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
So fun!
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?
Weird, huh?
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!
Love, Becky


dana said...

HI Becky! I have been MIA in blog land---lots going on with fall activities! I love your mirror post--I don't even LOOK in them anymore because this old, wrinkled woman is always looking back at me and she scares me!!! True!!
You always do such a great job with your thematic posts---you a one clever gal!


JaxPop said...

Deb has the market cornered on Windex. Mirrors all over. Wonder if that means anything? When we moved from Pa. we gave away all of the antiques - except a mirror from the 1800s. We have an old photo of Deb's great grandparents from the 1920s & that mirror is in the background. The worst is the mirror in the master bathroom, directly across from the shower. It's about 9 feet wide & goes from the sinks to the ceiling. We have high ceilings so there's no way to escape seeing the wicked daily progression of age. What a way to start each morning.

BTW - Thanks for visiting - I'm pretty stoked about the book but I won't be here when it comes out. I have to go to Chicago for a couple months to bail out a job that's gone sour. Gotta take the good with the bad I guess.

Rosemary said...

Hi Rebecca,
I know what you mean about those spooky antique mirrors. They do creep me out a little too!
Have a wonderful day!

Kathryn said...

Fun house mirrors freak me out more that old mirrors. Or maybe it is the "fun" house that freaks me out. Hmmm.

That puppy video is so cute. :)

TattingChic said...

That is very interesting about the mirror project in Viganella. How cool. I'm with you and Rosemary on the spooky antique mirror thing!

adrienne said...

That's a cute video! When we try to walk our dog around the shopping center she keeps lunging at her reflection in the store windows.
I'm so impressed by that mirror project in Italy - what a great idea!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

The associations you make--so wonder-ful!

LW said...

I remember as a child I loved going to our local theater. In the women’s restroom, they had two mirrors facing each other… I loved standing in-between them and looking at my infinite self….I think your he/she would have loved to do the same….


LW said...

I remember as a child I loved going to our local theater. In the women’s restroom, they had two mirrors facing each other… I loved standing in-between them and looking at my infinite self. I think your he/she would have loved to do the same….


Sherry Martschink said...

Love your post -as always. My favorite mirror item, though, is the one I have posted on my site: Mirror, mirror, on the wall -
I am my mother after all!

Suzie said...

Wow that town with the mirror is a great idea said...

Wonderful piece written on mirrors. Antique mirrors are fightening, aren't they?

Felicity said...

My babies always loved mirrors. And I love catching my big kids talking to themselves or singing to themselves in the mirror - especially when they are refining the perfect pout or angry face!

May Vanderbilt said...

HA! I have depth perception problems and so I hate mirrors because I tend to run into them.

It was particularly a problem when I lived in Manhattan. All those sleek restaurants had mirrors and glass everywhere. I started walking around with my hand out in front.

cindy said...

Cute! Love hearing the kiddo's laugh!


Anonymous said...

When we were kids, my brother and I used to play a mirror game. We'd each take a hand mirror and hold it horizontally at eye level, so that all you could see was the ceiling reflected in the mirror. We would then walk around like that, as though walking on the ceiling. It's fascinating - a weird and wonderful terrain, especially if your house has stairs or ceiling fans. I confess to doing it the other day, just for fun. It's like entering an alternate reality.

Susan Tuttle said...

Love the fun house mirror pics -- very funny stuff!


Alex said...

Hi Becky...where can I find that queenly crowned crane? I want one! :)

Rebecca P said...

Hello! I've read your blog for a while, and it always brings a smile to my face.

What brought a smile to my face today was how you mentioned buckling yourself in upside-down in the back seat. I thought I was the only one who ever did that as a child! Here I was, thinking I was alone in the world!

Or maybe we are the only ones. I'd like to think it's because we're both named Rebecca. :)

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Rebecca P, so good to meet you! Maybe the upside down seat buckling is a Rebecca thing! Anybody else?

Barb said...

Hi Becky,

The picture of that crane is too funny. I kind of look like that first thing in the morning.


lotusloq said...

I love the dog in the mirror video. I had a good laugh. That's cool about Viganello. Their mirror staves off depression. Mine just brings it on. The picture in my head doesn't match with what I see any more. When I look in the mirror it just reminds me what I really look like--what the years have done to me. Yikes!

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

I caught Edward barking at his reflection the other day!! I had to sit him down and attempt to convince him that there wasn't another dog in that mirror!!

Life on Bonnie Lane said...

Sometimes when I look in the mirror, I find my mother looking back it me! Amazing, isn't it?

Loved that video of the dog in the mirror! The funniest part is when he goes to the end and can't find the other dog! lol

Oh, and Narcisses needs to lose the towel.