My little girl clutched at my hand as we watched the ritual unfold before us. Was she too young for this? But I answered her question: “He is the embodiment of Truth, that which illuminates us all.”
“Then, why is his face so dark?”
Oh, child. That you must learn such things. “Because, precious girl, Truth is often obscured – that means hidden – by other things.”
“You mean Lies?”
“Sometimes,” I answered. “But sometimes Truth hides in darkness because it’s too real, or too painful, or because we aren’t yet ready to see it.”
At fourteen, the mirror mocked her, with her acne-prone skin and mousy brown hair. Every time she looked into it, her self-esteem plummeted through the linoleum-tiled floor, and through the carpeted living room floor a story below. She was certain she would never be pretty enough, tall enough, thin enough.
At forty-seven, the mirror no longer mocked her. Instead it told her the brutal truth: She had never become conventionally pretty, or thin, or tall.
She planted her bare feet on the cool tile floor and stared at her reflection with confidence.
Once, its touch had been lethal.
Now, there was power in the truth of a life lived on its own terms.