Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Spokane, Washington: Living Stones Conference

It has been a long time since I've stayed In a hotel room. There was a double-wide full length mirror right outside the bathroom. (It's been a long time since I've seen myself in a full length mirror too.) My roommate was gone to a coordinators' meeting and I was alone for the morning. I puttered around, made coffee, sampled the hotel's shower gel, meditated on the conference ahead of us. When I'm alone I forget to close the bathroom door... it's a carryover from my life outside community, when the only person I ever worried about walking in on me was the cat.

So there I sat, attending to nature's call... I looked up and saw myself in the mirror. Flashback!! It was fifty-seven years ago. I was in kindergarten. Or primary school, or whatever they called it back then, and by accident, I had just walked in on another little girl sitting on the toilet.

The encounter couldn't have lasted longer than two or three seconds... I apologized and shut the door and waited my turn. But when she was gone, I tried what I had seen... she had been sitting sideways on the toilet seat. I had no idea why she did it. Maybe her little behind felt safer with less of a gap, but she was also lovely and popular and I desperately wanted to be that. If sitting sideways meant I could have it, then I would sit sideways too.

I copied that one action so that I could mirror her beauty, her personality and her popularity. It doesn't exactly work that way, I know. But I was four years old. Why then, almost sixty years later was I sitting sideways on a toilet seat in a hotel in Spokane? It made me chuckle, but it reminded me of how we do, in fact, mirror each other all the time.

We mirror each other's beauty, flaws, idiocyncracies. If we do that, is it so far-fetched to wonder if we are not also mirrors for God? We want what God has... union, peace, understanding... and wasn't it nice God gave us a human example we could try to copy?


HeyJules said...

Boy, did I have a good chuckle over THIS post! That was too funny. :-)

I'm going to have to try that sideways thing sometime...

Claire Joy said...

And when you do you will have beauty, personality and popularity.... not!!

Pat said...

Oh my. Synchronicity. We are both thinking of mirrors today. Thanks for the humor!