As she stares into the cold, grey glass, the reflection is empty and lifeless. Her eyes are tired and heavy. The streaks of grey in her hair catch the light as it jars through the frosted window on the cold winter’s morning. She can only look at the woman on the other side for a fleeting moment. As she dips her head, casts low her eyes and turns away, she knows deep within that the mirror is the last place she wants to live.
The days roll into each other and with each one passing it feels as if another thread comes loose from the already thin jumper of her life. Her attention is divided, even on the best of days. The children tug at her skirt and pull on her sleeve. Their small hands, covered in the mornings breakfast and the remains of yesterday’s finger painting leave stained imprints on her clothes. Marks that fade with the ceaseless cycles of washing, but mark whose shadow will always remain. Tarnished and soiled. There is never a moment when she is not needed.
Outside the world is set in slow motion. With each face she passes another conversation starts in her incessant mind. The cycle of these conversations are like the slow churning of the old, rusted ferris wheel down by the shore.
A woman walks past at the supermarket, nine in the morning, just after school drop off, two toddlers in tow.
She isn’t wearing tracksuit pants, she is wearing jeans, the kids aren’t still in their pyjamas. How can I not manage this?
An invitation pings in her email, dinner with some of her girlfriends, after work on Friday night – ‘we’d love you to come, haven’t’ seen you in ages.’
I can’t possibly go, I’m too tired, too exhausted, especially on a Friday. I’ll be falling asleep before our mains even arrive. They don’t understand, they don’t have kids.
Her husband reaches over as she is falling asleep.
I smell like bleach from the bathrooms I’ve just cleaned, my hair hasn’t been washed in days and I’m wearing my flannelette’s, how can this be enticing?
The mirror is everywhere.
Yet, in time the conversations start to change. Her incessant mind is hushed by the stillness that she starts to find from deep within. The quiet moments she steals from her day give hope to the flicker of possibility that perhaps has been there all along. That ounce of possibility giving her strength to believe that nothing can stay stagnant forever. Time has not been working against her. In the weeks and months where she felt that time was passing her by, leaving her behind, time was instead patiently waiting. Standing back and giving her the space to find herself again.
On a warm, sun kissed morning she stares into the cold, grey glass. The reflection is no longer empty and lifeless. Trapped within that mirror is her ego. Cruel, twisted and a deviant of the self she truly is. She laughs. The all-knowing in her laughter shakes the very core of that ego. She no longer sees the absence of things in her image, her life and her choices. The consequences of her choices give rise to new conversations. Now she entertains conversations that inspire her to move forward and to stop looking back in that mirror. We only see what we want to see, when we do.
What do you see when you look in the mirror?
The next Conversations over Coffee link will open on
Thursday July 25, 2013 (7am EST)
The theme is Conversations with my Favourite City ~ everyone is welcome xx