Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Through a mirror darkly

I have new eyes, and I couldn’t be more delighted. I can see individual leaves on distant trees and spot squirrels in the grass even before they move. The colors are more vivid than I have experienced for a long time. The light swimming through the forest is alive.
Put less poetically, my cataract removal/lens replacement surgeries were successful. It’s a new world out there, and I’m loving it.
Except when I look in the mirror.
When did I start getting so old looking? Where did these little lines and blemishes come from? Why do we have so many mirrors in this house? I feel the need to eliminate most of them.
And why does this matter so much? I’m probably only looking my age, so it’s all natural.
But it does matter. True confession. My surrounding youth culture does affect me.
I have, however, discovered that I have another mirror, one that tells me a better story.
It’s this: that even after 47 years of marriage, Hal still sometimes looks at me as if I’m the best thing he’s seen coming down the pike in a long long time. He doesn’t need to speak a word. His look says, “lovely, good, beautiful, chosen” even “gorgeous.”
Just possibly—I’m not totally sure about this—but just possibly the mirror in his eyes may be telling a deeper truth than that critical too bright square in the bathroom.
And I can decide which mirror to believe.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Eating My Words

"If it doesn't pan out exactly
as I've said," I told him,
"I guess I'll just have to eat
my words."

The very next day, as a matter
of fact, I started in
on the nouns. I plopped them whole,
one at a time, in my mouth.
First I sucked the juice out,
then I swallowed the pulp.
One caught in my throat
and I had to wash it down
with a few slurpy adjectives.

The verbs crunched and crackled
as my teeth bit down. I seasoned
them with a few unattached
but tasty articles.

In a small gesture of rebellion
I saved the prepositions
for dessert. As any sous chef
knows, you can't end anything
with a preposition, so that's exactly
what I did.

All in all, it was a most
satisfying meal.