A Look in the Mirror

Sometimes – occasionally – every once in awhile – I look in the mirror. Aside from making sure the hair is combed/brushed to the best of my ability that day, I don’t really look in the mirror. Aside from my Cross necklace and earrings, I don’t wear jewelry, either. I have some lovely pieces but I don’t wear them.

I looked in the mirror today. I don’t really recognize the face. I look older than my brother who is eight years my senior. I look older than both my sisters (one older, one younger). I look older than Mom did at 65 – the last year of her life. My younger sister maintains that I’m wrinkled because, along with President Trump, smoking is the root of all evil. But I know the reason I’m wrinkled is because since I was five or so, I’ve rested my face on my hands or my fists. Pulls the skin, stretches it. Young skin is elastic; old skin is like the waistband on the underwear you throw out – the elastic is shot. But I keep doing it because it’s a deep, deep habit.

Though I still see some red (I’m a born redhead; got it from my paternal grandmother) basically my hair is gray. Couldn’t be the snowy white I always hoped for – no, that would be satisfying a vanity, at least – just a kind of gray hair that’s unremarkable. It’s still relatively long as I am not ready, mentally or emotionally, for the ‘little old man’ hair cut a lot of women my age opt for. Can’t do it. Used to be, when I was young and my hair got so long and heavy it would give me headaches, a fit of depression would cause me to go get my hair cut. Now, when that happens, I put it up in a barrette at the back of my head where I can’t see it.

There is something, however, that has not changed. The one connection I can still make with that woman in the mirror. The eyes. They are a dark blue, though not nearly as dark blue as my older sister whose eyes are almost lapis lazuli. But they’re dark blue. They are clear and bright and lively – I’m hoping it reveals what my brain is. There are no guarantees, however. Those are the eyes I know, the ones that got glasses at 12 years old, the ones that are in the faces of my children. I like those eyes. They are still me. I wear a lot of black – oddly enough, black makes my eyes look bluer. I am not completely devoid of vanity, you see.

The eyes have seen all the things that have shaped me – all my experiences, good and bad; all the mistakes I’ve made – some I had to live with and others that can’t be forgotten; the eyes have seen great joy and desperate sorrow. The eyes know. They have been washed with tears – the losses that happen in every life; the things that touch our hearts uniquely and the only appropriate response is tears; the joys that go beyond a happy birthday but live in our hearts forever – like finding and knowing Jesus.

I don’t recognize that lady in the mirror but I find, after all these years, I like her. I like who she’s become, where she is in life, how she gets on from day today. I’ve stopped hating how tall she was, how different her hair was from other girls/women, and her weight is no longer an issue. She likes to laugh, she thinks well of people until they prove she shouldn’t, and she cares about what’s going on in the world – good and bad.

Not a bad thing to do, every once in awhile – a look in the mirror.

27 Responses to A Look in the Mirror

  1. Alys Williams says:

    Audre, you are still beautiful, never mind the wrinkles and the less than red, red hair. I don’t recognise myself either when I look in the mirror.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. 39 Pontiac Dream says:

    What a beautiful article, Audre.

    I can’t remember whether it was yesterday or the day before but I commented to a person on TCW who highlighted his age by telling him that I don’t really think about it in others. I might look at myself in the mirror every so often, noting the flecks of grey appearing through the thick dark brown, and I’m all too aware that I am ageing but I don’t look at others in the same way.

    The majority of people I speak to online have varying experience, wisdom and knowledge but I never think of them as being older than me, just different. There is a punch to their comments, flashes of brilliant humour but most of all, heart. I tend to see that in your comments too. Age shapes us but it is not the be all and end all. What you say, who you are and how you are with others is more important than how we look so through that prism, though your experiences – good and bad – have travelled further than my own, I see you (and many others) as young, vibrant and more relevant than you’d give yourself credit for.

    Enjoy your day and say hi to Lon from us. Tina sends hugs too.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. NEO says:

    Still some red, you’re lucky. I was completely gray by 30 and now make Santa look gray! Yeah, I look in the mirror occasionally, otherwise, I’d cut my throat shaving, but who that old man is, I’m not sure either, but he sure knows more than the 25-year old I am.

    Liked by 2 people

    • audremyers says:

      “… but he sure knows more than the 25-year old I am.” I understand exactly, Neo. Quite honestly, in my head, I still feel like I’m 17; I’ve never felt any other birthday the way I did that one.

      Liked by 2 people

      • NEO says:

        My first big one was 10, I got to run and be responsible for keeping the lawn mowed (mown?, whatever!), and my first real rifle, with attendant warnings and demonstrations, having to do with one mistake causing it to disappear forever, completely justified, in my mind, then and now. Took my first aerosol can at 50 years that very day. 🙂

        16 (+1 month) and a driver’s license was good too, as was 21, which I celebrated in the bar where I was a regular. Since then, they’ve all been downhill.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. audremyers says:

    Neo – we knew that, lol!!! Autocucumber – priceless!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. audremyers says:

    Neo – balsamic, the very best kind! It’s expensive and sweet and oh so tasty!

    Liked by 1 person

    • NEO says:

      Perhaps. What I have learned is that almost nothing in this world is black and white (except my hair), it’s all various shades of gray, and that avoids a lot of strife.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. the unit says:

    I’ve been looking there so much lately that I thought I recognized the fellow, and when I tried to shake hands I banged my knuckles into the wash basin faucet.
    Great Saturday blog article, Andre. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  7. the unit says:

    Thinking of starting a mirror-hailing service. Show only what you wish to see. Well, after reading about motorcycling-hailing thing in NYC and today’s blog. Yep, that’s me wishing. I saw the ads many years ago. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. the unit says:

    Can’t get enough of your post today for weekend fun. 🙂
    Loved the hair mention. I’m taking sides with Jack E. Leonard. I’m not bald, “I just have a wide part.”

    Liked by 1 person

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