Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Break the Mirror

I don’t really remember where I came across this poem, but in my head I’ve known it for years. The last stanza is as prophetic and truthful as they come. And I couldn’t agree with it more.

“Break The Mirror”
by Nanao Sakaki

In the morning
After taking a cold shower
_________What a mistake_________
I look at the mirror.

There, a funny guy
Grey hair, white beard, wrinkled skin
_________What a pity_________
Poor, dirty, old man!
He is not me, absolutely not.

Land and life
Fishing in the ocean
Sleeping in the desert with stars
Building a shelter in the mountains
Farming the ancient way
Singing with coyotes
Singing against nuclear war –
I’ll never be tired of life.
Now I’m seventeen years old,
Very charming, young man.

I sit down quietly in lotus position,
Meditating, meditating for nothing.
Suddenly a voice comes to me:

“To stay young,
To save the world,
Break the mirror.”

This poem has always “spoken to me” (I’m in a cliché mood, sorry). The speaker is so upset after realizing that he has aged that he feels compelled to imagine himself living the life of the transcendental wanderer (i.e. my brother). He pictures himself in the mountains, singing, living with nature. But what makes this poem—for me—is the final three lines. “To stay young,/ to save the world,/ Break the mirror.” What great advice for all of us.

I suppose this poem is relevant to everyone, but to me, it makes me think of my wife. Without sounding too much like a sap, I really do believe that my wife is the most beautiful woman that I have ever met. She can make me laugh with giddy happiness just by smiling, and I can’t imagine her being any different. Yet for years, she has been convinced (like most crazy females) that she needs to keep losing weight. She always complains about her legs being too fat or something as ridiculous as that. I used to try to convince her that she doesn’t need to work out twice a day and she can sometimes eat some extra dessert, but I gave up on that after years of being told “you don’t understand.” But recently, she’s been easing up on the exercise for various reasons, and she told me just yesterday about how happy she’s been with the change. I really couldn’t be happier about that myself, and so I thought this particular poem would be a fitting tribute to my wife and her relaxed attitudes.


nikki joy said...

good for her =) i think she's adorable from the pictures i have seen of her!

Anonymous said...

I once had dinner at the home of a woman, a very well respected doctor that specificilizes in helping people with the worst eating disorders. She had a fabulous bathroom, covered in beautiful mosaics hand done in tile. Right over the sink where the mirror should be she had no mirror. Instead, she had this poem, Break the Mirror. It is something I wish more women would do... rip out the mirror and replace it with this.