The Grapevine Art & Soul Salon

Musings on Being and Becoming Human


Issue 9


Mirror, mirror on the wall/Who's the fairest of them all?

Perhaps Snow White's stepmother was doomed to hear someone else's name in the mirror's answer because she was reflecting such a limited concern, one that we all engage in time and again: how do I appear to others by comparison to others? There are other more open and generous and curious ways to approach the mirror. We can turn toward it with courage, looking on foul as well as fair. We can go with the excited anticipation of seeing more of who we are or might be. We can break the rigidity of our postures instead of breaking the mirror.

There are so many mirrors to provide reflection: on the literal level, there are glasses backed with silver, shiny stones and metal pieces, pools and lakes of water. Psychologically, we can see ourselves in nature and in the eyes of others, both like and unlike us. We are "mirrored" by parents, siblings, friends, enemies, teachers, preachers, employers, casual acquaintances, pets.

Inadequate or inappropriate mirroring in childhood is said to be the cause of many adult problems with self-esteem. Eye contact, a form of mirroring, is used to measure sociability in humans and animals. It is also the path of love between myself and the other whom I seek as my beloved.

Recent brain research has discovered "mirror neurons" in monkeys that are triggered both when the subject sees an action performed and when the subject performs the action. Many conjectures are coming from this discovery about human sympathy and socialization as well as the human enjoyment of sports and dance, for examples. We are told that mirror neurons may well become this century's equivalent of the mid-20th century discovery of DNA. See Miscellany for a link to an exciting l5-minute video on this subject.

In this issue of The Grapevine, we are preoccupied with mirrors and mirroring.

AT HOME here are writers speaking in a style more conversational than studied for an audience who might be seated on a front porch at night watching fireflies create random small rays to light up the listening, or in the dining room of an ancient inn with lamps and perhaps a hearth fire to kindle community.

It takes only one or two steps of the imagination to move through the dusk to the dining room at the inn or the porch of a house or, by daylight, to a backyard garden for picking grapes and for gossiping, a verbal mode associated with the term grapevine. We say I heard it on the grapevine, referring to rumor, advance news of interest to the community, sometimes scandal, always a dramatic story or piece of a story, circulating, making the rounds, lingering on the surface even when it suggests hidden things.

The SALON presents a variety of storytellers and image makers and thinkers, from promising beginners to seasoned artists of mature and full-bodied talents.

The Grapevine Art & Soul Salon welcomes comments from visitors. Use the Contact button to send e-mails that will be forwarded to appropriate persons. If your computer is not configured for Outlook Express, simply copy and paste the webmaster's address into your e-mail system.

Editor: Barbara Knott
Image Design: Bill Kennedy
Contributing Writers: Jonathan Knott, Ravi Kumar, Bill Kennedy, Nancy Law, Anne Lovett, Charles Knott, Anne Webster

Copyright ©2008 Barbara Knott · All Rights Reserved
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