Tag Archives: reflection

“Sonnet 22: My glass shall not persuade me I am old” by William Shakespeare

Painting by Caravaggio

Painting by Caravaggio

My glass shall not persuade me I am old,
So long as youth and thou are of one date;
But when in thee time’s furrows I behold,
Then look I death my days should expiate.
For all that beauty that doth cover thee
Is but the seemly raiment of my heart,
Which in thy breast doth live, as thine in me:
How can I then be elder than thou art?
O, therefore, love, be of thyself so wary
As I, not for myself, but for thee will,
Bearing thy heart, which I will keep so chary
As tender nurse her babe from faring ill.
Presume not on thy heart when mine is slain;
Thou gav’st me thine, not to give back again.

This is an interesting sonnet about how we view ourselves, and specifically how we view ourselves reflected in the ones we love. It is one of the fair youth sonnets, so Shakespeare is addressing a young man.

His love for the youth makes him feel young. We have a clear image of the older man, looking at himself in the mirror, and seeing himself as younger than he actually is. He knows that as long as he feels this connection to the youth and enjoys the happiness he is experiencing, then he will continue to feel invigorated. Love after all keeps us feeling young.

Shakespeare acknowledges that this image he has of himself as being young is directly related to his feelings for the youth. As long as he continues to feel affection for the young man, he will feel young and energetic himself. But if his feelings begin to tire, and he starts seeing the youth as stale, hackneyed, and if his passion begins to wane, then his true age will once again show. He will lose the sense of rejuvenation that love has instilled within him.

There is a definite correlation between our emotional state and how we view ourselves. When we are happy, content, joyous, then we see ourselves in a positive light, emanating the feelings that are within. Likewise, when we are sad, depressed, or lonely, then we see ourselves as old, tired, ugly, and so forth.

Thankfully, I am happy right now in my life, and as I look in the mirror, I like the person I see. I hope your reflection makes you happy too. Cheers and blessings!

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Neil Gaiman’s “Miracleman” Issue #1

Miracleman_01

I read recently about a “new” comic arc written by Neil Gaiman. Being a big fan of Gaiman’s writing, I inquired about it at the local comic store. The owner said that it was originally written in the 1990’s and only part of the series was ever published, and that they were finally releasing the rest of the arc. He got the six original issues for me and said the first “new” issue is scheduled to be release in March.

I really enjoyed this first installment. It is classic Gaiman writing, rich in mystical symbolism. The writing is augmented nicely by Mark Buckingham’s artwork, which feels surrealistically modern, yet appears classical in style.

In this first issue, four pilgrims are climbing the stairs of a massive temple to reach their god, Miracleman, where they can pray directly to him. The climb is symbolic of the struggle one must take to attain a spiritual goal, where each level represents a stage in the spiritual ascension.

I ache all over. The rhythms of the climb begin to imprint themselves on my consciousness. Step after step after step, hour after hour, until we reach the next floor. Then we walk around the inside of this tower of miracles, through hall after hall filled with oddments and delights of every shape and kind, until we reach the bottom of the next rung of stairs. And up.

One of the floors of the temple is a hall of mirrors. The mirrors symbolize the stage in the spiritual quest when one begins to examine oneself through the lens of altered consciousness, seeing yourself in new and myriad ways, catching glimpses of your subconscious mind.

I don’t know how long we spent on the hundred and fiftieth floor in the mirror halls. We must have walked for miles, looking for a way up, or a way out, finding only mirrors. Regular mirrors, row after row of them. Distorting mirrors, that made us look fat, or thin, or twisted. And other mirrors. Taipek said he saw an angel in one of them. I didn’t see any angels. In one mirror I saw myself naked. In another I was looking out at myself, but I was holding up a piece of paper.

I love a graphic novel that uses visual art and written word to explore the intricacies of the mystical and the subconscious. This clearly falls into that category of graphic novel. I am eager to delve into issue 2.

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