Mirrors

They only reflect, they do not accurately inform. They may be flawed, warped, narrow. They are two-dimensional. They do not accurately portray who we are. They only use what is before them, the light, the image, the backdrop. Yet we are so much more than what we see in a mirror.

I’ve never paid much attention to mirrors. I have them, in the bathrooms, over my dresser, in my dining room, one just inside the front door in the foyer. They are only there to let me know whether or not my sweater is buttoned right, or my hair is combed. I do not let them tell me I look too tired, or got too much sun or gained a few pounds. They merely provide me with technical information so to speak, not personal.

Now Murphy, my little dog who recently crossed the Rainbow Bridge understood more of what mirrors could do. If he was ready to get up for the day he would use the mirror to look into the next room, in case I happened by. Then he would catch my eye, his head would bob up and his ears would perk. He would turn to look away from the mirror at me, and I would know he wanted or needed something. So I would go get him. If he watched for me and did not happen to catch my eye and wanted something he would bark, and I would then see he was up and ready for the day.

For him mirrors were very personal. They helped him function in his daily life. And they helped me be more of whatever it was he wanted or needed.

Time

We all have numbered days, so we are told. We don’t know what they are, God does, but we waste what we have so flagrantly as a derelict prince with riches that are not his. We say when we are old or unwell that we live on borrowed time. Whose time is it if not our own? If we are still here then it is still our time.

Since I stopped working at a job a few years ago I stopped wearing a watch. This was a clear indication to me that my measurement of time by my watch was such that I would keep to someone else’s time, not my own. Yet who else do we keep time for? Our employers, if we are a guest at a friend’s or an inn for whatever schedule is theirs. But when it does not matter to us what time it is, then we simplify our time to day or night. Or further broken down to morning, afternoon, evening, overnight. We have time to read, to laugh, to listen, to tell, to hope, to think, to create, to rest, to play, to eat, to share, to become ill, to become well. To live.

We speak of the fullness of time, time that has its realization in its own truth where it has been so well spent that we are satisfied, happy, as after a good meal or a happy time with our families or a friend. It is also when something long awaited has finally come and we are not disappointed. Its realization, this event, or its fullness has consumed and filled us so completely as to bring us to that point of completeness, joy and grace that we have grateful memory of it for all our lives.

Time was important to my father. He did not waste it. He kept himself busy, whether in his workshop or at his business, or vacationing, or even just in thought. Whatever he did he did it so completely that he left no question that there was nothing missing or left out or forgotten. The flight of time did not escape him. He rode its magic his entire life.

I have an old kitchen clock that had belonged to my dad. I have had it repaired twice and the second time the chime simply stopped working. It was a loud chime so for a while I missed its waking me in the night, faithfully alerting me to the wee morning hours… 2 chimes, then 3 and so on as though by sleeping I was missing the most important time. When it stopped I decided it had relented to the meager human need to restore oneself with sleep and am grateful. Still, its loud tick-tock during the day breaks occasionally into my thoughts or activities and I am glad it reminds me to keep pace, not lose time or be wasteful. Dad might be pleased of this.

Think not thy time short in this world, since the world itself is not long. The created world is but a small parenthesis in eternity, and a short interposition, for a time, between such a state of duration as was before it and may be after it.
        Sir Thomas Browne—Christian Morals. Pt. III. XXIX.

Connected

con·nect·ed  (kə-nĕk′tĭd) adj.

1. Joined or fastened together; 2. Mathematics: a. Not decomposable into two disjoint nonempty open sets. b. Having a continuous path between any two points. Used of a curve, set, or surface; 3. Related by family; 4. Logically or intelligibly ordered or presented; coherent: a stroke that left him incapable of connected speech; 5. Associated with or related to others, especially to influential or important people: a photographer who was well connected in the fashion world.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
 
So this definition from the Free Dictionary (aka American Heritage dictionary) says this word is an adjective. Which, by these definitions it is. But I am thinking of how it is used in the form of a noun. To be connected. Do you feel more connected with all the technology, telephonics, satellites?
 
I get this a lot, especially in surveys which I really enjoy (so long as they are about stuff I know). Am I connected? Do I feel more connected because of cell phones, Internet?
 
Well, yes and more, no.
 
I can talk to anybody anywhere whenever I want because of cell phones. I can go online and share information with people, most of whom I have never met, on a facebook/myspace/linkedin or some other page. Yes, I see there are people who think as I do, who are as passionate as I am about many things. But do I feel connected? No, not in the sense other than that we share this common interest. I have never looked in their actual eyes (except by avatar or thumbnail). I have never noticed the hint of a smile, shyly maybe at first then spreading as we discover a shared hope or wish or interest. I can’t see them cry or laugh other than that ridiculous “lol” which I never liked as an alternative to actually hearing someone laughing out loud. Anybody can say lol, but maybe they are too self-conscious to be able to actually roar out an lol. Maybe they are too proud to let somebody see them cry and I can’t see they are trying to hide their tears. Maybe they want to appear aloof and typed words have never, in my experience, been able to give any accurate indication of inflection or intonation or emphatic insistence. They are just words. Indifferent. They lie flat, two-dimensional, only their meanings are expressed by definition, not by how they sound.
 
No, I would not say this makes me feel more connected. If I did I’d be living in a vacuum.