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April 29, 2008


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Patricia Ryan Madson

Wise words, these. Break the mirror. What this means to me is to give up using any external source to provide validation for oneself. Josephine used to say, "mirrors lie." Makes sense to me. Thank you for your wonderful perspective and for this enlightening blog.


Several years ago I broke both of my wrists when I skated into a dry patch at an outdoor skating rink. I'll skip the many funny stories I could tell about my double-casted period in which I was totally dependent and just about totally useless. But the mirror posting made me think about the day that the casts were finally removed. I almost fainted on the spot. I looked down at my arms, expecting to see my arms. But my wrists were nowhere to be seen and instead were two other wrists that I did not recognize and did not like one bit. It was so disorienting and disturbing to see these impostor arms of mine that I came very close to fainting.

It took some time to adjust. I still miss my "real" wrists, although I certainly don't give them a lot of thought these days.

Keeping up with the aging process is like this in a way. I miss the "real" me. Where have I gone? I received quite a bit of attention for my looks years ago. With vanity carving a deep groove in my family, my "looks" were an important part of my identity. How disturbing and disorienting it is to now witness the body's gradual (not gradual enough) and steady changes. Unlike my wrists, I must keep adjusting to new changes all the time. The mirror would allow me to see new changes every day -- premature menopause is to blame, I think to myself. But I cannot afford to waste much time noticing and considering this situation. The situation itself is reminding me that I cannot afford to waste much time . . .

As it is, I'm sure, with the changes you speak of, Trudy. Though they have come more suddenly and intensely following your treatment, you are describing an experience that seems very familiar. May we all learn to look beyond our wrists and our skin and hair, and see the true nature of what lies beyond them, or beneath them or within them. Thanks for posting the mirror poem -- I love it!

patricia ludwick

dear trudy,
i so much look forward to your daily message - don't always make it in a day chockful of beings and doings but know that at the end of the day, with no more e-mail messages, no more phone messages, no more phone calls, all the cats fed, I can sit down with you and think of things much deeper. I've always loved that poem, and versions of it - such a simple solution to problems of ego! Another one I learned tonight from a member of my meditation group:

Blessed are those who can laugh at themselves,
for they will always have a source of amusement.

Let's save the world by giving up old ideas of our selves: break the mirror - leave our masks behind.


Thanks to all for taking the time to comment on this post. (and any post)I am loving the conversation and appreciating the wisdom that each person brings. I picture the new wrists that you get to use now Linda and you have given us such a clear example from your life. Many thanks to each of you. I am benefiting from each person's contribuitions on and off this blog. As always, T

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