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[Tidbits] Mirror Mirror


Mirror mirror on the wall,
Who you callin’ ugly?

Yes. well. . Show White was not the only one to use the mirror to
reveal truths about herself. Junkie anyone? Naked Lunch perhaps? So
venerated was William Burroughs–the author of the above two
books–that when he walked into the Algonquin Hotel it is said that a
hush fell over the room in which all the famous writers congregated.
He was and is and probably always will be the undisputed genius of
American literature. He was also–by the way–a little offbeat. In
1959, while living in Paris, he experimented with mirror-gazing. The
idea was that if he continued staring steadily into a mirror he would
eventually see the face of his previous incarnation. Don’t know if it
ever worked. but it is said that another American caught him at it
and swore he had seen the face of another man in the mirror.

I digress here slightly to mention that I believe this story entirely
because the older I get the stronger my powers of perception become
to the point that these days when I look in the mirror I see an
entirely different person than the one I remembered residing therein.
There used to be a full-headed, dark-haired, rather skinny young man
who could leap tall buildings in a single bound living in that
reflecting glass. and now there’s an aging oldster. not unpleasant
looking. a tad more wrinkled than I might have liked. a slight
twinkle playing in the corners of the old geezer’s age-lined eyes. I
wonder when I see him: Who the hell is that guy?

The mirror plays and played a role in many cultures. Japanese
sun-goddess Amaterasu emerged from her cave at night to restore
sunlight to the world when she saw her reflection in a mirror. The
Chinese Taoist believed the mirror represented self-realization. To
the Aztecs the trickster-god Texcatlipoca resided in the bowels of the
dreaded reflecting pool of glass. I suspect this last one is the one
playing with me when I look into the reflector.

But it all makes no never mind. because if we go back to the second
millennium BC we see the art work of China that made the frames and
backings. One can not have a god or demon or even cartoon character
residing inside a mirror without said mirror having extraordinary
characteristics in its frame and backing to make it stand out among
other reflecting devices. like a pool in a lake for instance. Nice.
But so what? If you were a god or a demon. or even a person ptui ptui
ptui (spit three times) would you want to go down on your hands and
knees to look at yourself in the muddled rippling waters of an old
lake? No, I say.

Instead. as in days of old. you might wear your mirror hung from your
belt to be used for cosmetic purposes when necessary. Or as military
equipment perhaps. . carried along for arcane usages. much in the
same manner as dowsing sticks are used to find water. Or. . and most
importantly. you might simply need to carry a mirror along for
magical purposes such as searching for the answer to cosmological

And so it comes to reason that I have an image. yes. . an image of
the back of a bronze mirror. carved in intricate detail with
decorations in silver and gold and centered with a beast with a thick
mane who himself is surrounded with felines and phoenixes and birds
and leaves and scrolls and such. It is a must see for it is a treat
for the eyes.

So go. Look. You know where. For those of you who are new to this
thing called Tidbits. may I direct you to my home page at where you will scroll down the left side
menu till you get to the area that says Current Tidbits. click it.
and you will see represented on our pages an image of exceptional
beauty of the back of a mirror.

And there ya have it. That’s it for this week folks.
Catch you all next week.
Benjamin Mark