Of Reality and Denial

This was a thought that came to me late last night.

… and as he continued walking along the path as foretold by the aged, there came up ahead a dense copse of trees; thick and tall and green and lush they were, with shrubs and herbs and all manner of flower scattered everyplace, and bright and dark green moss and fungi blanketing rock and trunk alike.

He kept walking, careful to stay on the beaten path. While he didn’t know where it led, nor did he know where he wanted to go, he did know there were no stones to trip on, no pebbles to unsteady his step, no slippery surfaces to cause him to slip, just as foretold by the aged, when he spied a glimmer to his right.

A most enticing glimmer this was, one that promised answers and was yet mysterious in its shine. He stepped off the path and walked towards the unknown shimmer and reached a clearing carpeted thick with short grass and lush patches of bouncy moss, his step light upon many layers of leaves long shed.

There, to his right, half buried in the earth, lay the Emphoric Mirror, glimmering like it had just been cast, its intricate frame and brilliant surface betraying its age, for such craftsmanship would not be found today.

Who would bury such an artefact, he thought, as he scooped out the soft earth and moss around it, until he was able to lift it out and place it against the trunk of the tree it had been buried beside. He took off his turban and cleaned it till it shone and then peered into its brilliance.

There he was, obviously, for what else would the Mirror reflect, but him? But wait. His eyes seemed duller than he thought and there was no hint of the twinkle in them that he was so certain of, his ears seemed a bit larger than expected, and were his teeth that crooked and stained? Did his mouth really tilt that way and were the pores on his nose that large? He thought his whiskers fuller, but they seemed quite sparse in the reflection he was staring at. His eyes grew larger and his mouth twisted into a grimace; the Mirror was lying and was the deceitful work of djinns and other beings from the nether realms who sought to create mischief on this earth.

In a fit of rage, he picked up the Mirror and with all his strength, which was considerable now, smashed it against the trunk of the tree, and nothing happened, for reality is not subject to the whims of man. His arm hurt, but the mirror shone as brightly as it did and showed him to be even uglier than before. And he tried, and again, and still again, and yet the Mirror remained intact. And he dug a hole, a deep, deep hole and buried the Mirror within and stomped on the mud so no one would ever find it.

Then with trembling legs and ashen soul, he retraced his steps towards the foretold path, while telling himself that the Mirror told a brazen lie, and continued on the path sanctified by the elders and the wise and aged.

Continued: Those Like Me

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