Broken glassJune 23, 2015

A few nights ago, I had an intriguing dream. I was in my house looking around my bedroom. I decided to leave the house for some reason. I walked down my steps and saw my dresser mirror shattered. As I walked around the living room and into the dining room, I saw broken glass everywhere. I stepped around the broken glass. The dream ended before I made it out the door.

My dreams work very much like my thought process does: a series of random ideas that connect in places that most humans don’t think of. A few years ago, I dreamt that a deer was talking to me. Who besides your average 5-year-old dreams of talking animals? In any case, some of my dreams are memorable. Some are not. This one stayed with me because it made me think of all the symbolism inherent in glass, intact and broken.

As an English major and all around literature glutton, I love symbolism. Mirrors are fraught with symbolic meaning. Those closest to us hold up metaphorical mirrors when we need to see what’s important. Of course, the reflection that stares back isn’t exactly what other people are seeing. Sometimes, we see what’s actually there. Sometimes, we don’t. One of my favorite scenes in one of my favorite movies showed the main character, a courtesan, looking into a mirror. Her face is dispassionate as she wipes the mirror down. She sees what’s in the mirror, and she knows she can’t wipe it away. During the film, she tries to change her circumstances and her life. However in the end, she finds she can’t. Her simple act of wiping the mirror down with no emotion on her face at once shows her acceptance of her reality and makes her heroic as opposed to tragic.

Conversely, a broken mirror can mean a distorted self-image or an ending of old habits and ways. It can be a refusal to see things as they are. For some, broken glass or mirrors can mean an ending of something negative, overcoming obstacles.

In my dream, I walked around the broken glass. I knew exactly where to step to avoid getting cuts on my feet. I don’t know if I made it out the door without a cut or a scratch. Given the navigation skills I have accrued in my life, I know I walked out unscathed.

In my life, I have learned where to step without injury. Once or twice, I have been bruised, scratched, and slashed, but it was never anything I could not or did not recover from. I always made it out the door. I always will. Except now, I have to maneuver around less and less glass.

Like the courtesan in the movie, I wipe the mirror accepting my reality. The difference is: I smile at my reality now. There’s no reason not to. I continue to navigate through the broken glass and move on to better realities.

Until next time… look behind and beyond the veil…

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