Sometimes when I’m all alone, I look at my reflection in a mirror and try to memorize the details of what I see. I gaze steadily at my strangely- shaped nose and then my mouth and then my neck. I trail back up to my eyes and notice the color of my lashes and the way my mascara rests upon each one, like a thick winter coat that has the occasional ripple in its lining. I look up at my forehead and examine the beginnings of my wrinkles and lines- the evidence of my thirty years of laughter and then all that is opposite of that laughter, like the sadness and worry and anger. I take it all in, this person I am, and I attempt to take the truest picture I can. Because my brain is a wonderful camera. Its lens can see things as clearly and as beautifully as I choose to allow. And so I’ve been practicing, allowing the beauty to find its way through the lens and into a place that I can store up. I want to remember this reflection. I want to make friends with my ruddy cheeks and the moles on my neck - not because of vanity, but because this is who I am. I’m a creation, don’t you know? And the details of the thing are always what make up the beauty of the whole.
It isn’t always easy, this memorizing and remembering.
But this, of course, is why I practice.
(Because to practice in the stillness gives way to remembering in the movement and mess.)
Yesterday morning, I rode my bike to a local farmers market a few miles away. It was unbearably hot, as this new town in which I reside doesn’t seem to dip below 95 degrees most days. I rode over the river and across the busy streets and lusted after the breeze that surrounded my body the faster I pedaled. The sweat gathered and my jean shorts clung in unfortunate ways. But I didn’t care. Because as I pedaled, I caught sight of myself in the reflection of the tall glass building that stood to my right, shiny and twenty stories high. I glanced over and took a picture, a quick snapshot, just as I’ve been practicing. I captured a woman on a mission- a woman with blonde braided hair and thick legs and a light in her eyes. I saw a woman on her way to becoming who she was meant to become. She moved quickly, but I was able to catch a peek.
I'm so glad that I've been practicing.