Sunday, November 12, 2006

Mirror, mirror is the world


Give a Gemini a language & idea puzzle, like what do we like instead of “Pronoia” (the suspicion that the universe is constantly conspiring to make you happy)? What would be the word for suspecting that the world is a film you’re making? That “reality” is only what we believe, mirrored back to us. Catoptronia – “the suspicion that reality/the external world, is a mirror.” KD, being a Gemini, loved the puzzle of finding the word, having Scorpio rising, she has the genes of a relentless detective. It’s as perfect a word can be if it's stitched together from ancient Greek by an American.

I’d told KD about my big Ah-ha moment of the week. In September, when I was taking "coffee breaks" at the dockside to weep out the stress overload, I seized on a small incident at work that motivated me to keep showing up. I blogged about the student who asked me “Is anyone going to show us how to use this library?” I wrote that it reminded me I didn’t work for the university, I worked for her – for all the students who needed that little bit of help. So shoot me, I’m a hallmark card.

Or shoot me because two weeks later, when we gave orientation tours and talks, she was the student standing at the new book section, reading and paying no attention whatsoever.

Lately, I’ve connected those incidents with a sequence from Crash. A Persian immigrant shopkeeper, thinking a locksmith has been responsible for a break-in at his shop, hunts down the address of the locksmith and tries to shoot him. The locksmith’s child, seeing that her father is in danger and believing in an invisible cloak he’s given her, telling her she safe and bulletproof because she’s wearing it, runs and flings herself in front of her father just as the shopkeeper fires. Unknown to the shopkeeper, his own daughter has filled the gun with blanks. In the next scene, the shopkeeper’s daughter finds him sitting on the floor at the back of the shop. His life has utterly changed. His eyes are filled with tears, his face shines with the light of peace and redemption because he believes the little girl was an angel, sent to save him. It’s illusion after illusion after illusion.

And here’s the thing that was the Ah-ha to me – It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter that I romanticized the student’s distress and found in it a positive reason to keep pushing myself out the door at a time when I was scared that one more day at work might bring a heart attack. And it doesn’t matter that it was only the shopkeeper’s illusion that redeemed him. It only matters that consciousness changes. It only matters to find strength to keep going, and to keep going with a little hope in your heart.

See KD's blog and her definition and quotes on the word she's so diligently constructed here.

This is for you, DM.