30 March, 2011

Mirror In A Dark Room

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those only of the author and may only coincidentally reflect those of Mystic Metals, its employees, or associates. All responses should be posted as comments here, or mailed directly to the author, A. Robert Basile, at ihatebasile@gmail.com. Mail sent directly to Mystic Metals will not be read.

Mirror In A Dark Room


Piss. That’s a word I say when I’m pissed off. I guess it’s appropriate. Piss. It’s appropriate because I am indeed pissed off. This week has been a difficult one, and I’m going to talk about it in a round about way. Come with me, if you will. And if you won’t, your loss. That’s something I should say more often; your loss.

It’s been a couple of years now with this blog. Yeah, I know it moved. Yeah, I know I tend to recapitulate things. Yeah, I know that no one can solve any problems just by writing about them. But it has been a long couple of years. Each week, I write for you kids. I try to share ideas that I have and make them sound somewhat intelligible. It doesn’t always happen. My chief goal is a very simple and altruistic one. My goal is for each person who comes across my blog to see the beauty and value inherent in himself. I want my reader to see beauty in the mirror and in the faces of each person who walks through his reality. I would like my reader to know that his beauty is a different kind of beautiful, but so is the next man’s, and the next, and the next. No one is similar in his beauty, and that is what makes us all a family in our own simple society.

Simple idea, isn’t it, kids? I would like to say that my perception in terms of beauty is infallible, but I’d be lying. My own beauty is the last I see, and I feel somewhat of a hypocrite asking you kids to see your own. But we try, we continue to try, we fail, and we try again. The goal disappears into the horizon like a painting demonstrating perspective. But perhaps it is the pursuit of the goal that is more valuable than the goal itself. I used to believe that if one person reads my books, my blogs, my poetry (reserved for special people), and feels beautiful because of it; I’ve succeeded. I no longer think that is true. I want my reader to believe that he is beautiful always, not just from my first written word until the last on the page.

Who am I to be making demands? No one. And that is why when I open my email everyday and I receive messages from readers whom I’ve never met who tell me about the beauty of their perspective because of something I wrote, I am surprised. Why am I surprised? Because I am nobody. Yet doesn’t it seem to be that the only valuable information comes from sources that are innocuous? Still, that’s not the point at all.

I have talked to some kids who read me. Kids from all over the place. I always keep my instant messenger open, and my email heads right to my phone. These kids will tell me that I have shown them something they didn’t see before. I have shown them each their own beauty. I can’t take credit for that, so much as I am just a mirror. You look fabulous before you head out to wherever, and you look in the mirror in your bathroom. Do you thank the mirror? No. The beauty was always there. But there is a problem that comes from it. There is an expectation that the point of view of being beautiful is a thing that lasts once it arrives. It seems that isn’t so. It seems that when the room is dark, the mirror can’t work. After all, a mirror needs light to reflect in order to show you the information you need from it. So if the room is dark, where is the reflection? Are you still beautiful? Tree falls in the woods, and all of that bullshit.

When things are dark. When are things dark? Death in the family, a break up, losing a job, a sick pet. These things darken the room, don’t they. They extinguish any measure of light that is trying so hard to sneak its lazy fingers through the shades and cracks beneath the door. If we don’t allow ourselves to dilate our pupils, then the dark will crawl and slip and coat what was once light. The mirror stops working. It just becomes another thing in the room that we can’t see. The question is still, if the mirror has nothing to reflect as you stand before it, are you still the beautiful you that it has reflected during the light times?

Yes. You are still beautiful. Tarnish and corrosion can only collect on something, it can’t be something. That something is still very beautiful. It is still very real. Quite simply, we need to remember that always. Some days are harder than others, aren’t they. Isn’t that the nature of the altruism that we need to exhibit to one another. The altruism of letting a stranger know that he is beautiful. It’s hard. By definition, we garner nothing from it. We take nothing from a stranger’s realization of his own beauty. I get nothing from telling you kids to see your own beauty. Some days it is hard for me because I feel as if you don’t hear me; I know that some of you don’t hear me. And that’s OK. There will be days of doubting beauty, but those days ought to be anomalous rather than the days of beauty.

How do I know that some of the people I talk to only believe my words in the context of the first word to the last? I can read it on the voices and in the words of people. There are many people who have told me that their perceptions have changed, their points of view, their belief in their own beauty. Becks, Emmy, Krista, Jamie, countless others. I don’t want them to know that they are beautiful; they are already beautiful and always will be. What I want for them is to know it everyday regardless if I exist or not. Do these people, and others, only realize their beauty because I told them? If I had never told them, would they still know? When I’m no longer doing this, or no longer an important character in the sit-com of their lives, will they stop believing? If so, that’s really sad.

No, kids, I don’t feel beautiful. Yes, I am a hypocrite. Yes, the rules I set forth for people don’t apply to me. The rule maker can always become the rule breaker, after all. My rules, however simple as they may be, are to see your own beauty, and to use that beauty to see it in others. How simple. But those rules don’t apply to me because I am the messenger of the rules. The messenger is always the allegiance amorphous individual that is sharing the information, not creating the information. I know that I ought to believe the message itself because the message is absolute, but it is challenging because the room gets darker and darker and darker.

So what’s the resolution? I need you kids to do what you’re already doing. Stay beautiful. I need you kids to remember the beauty that may not be reflecting through the mirror in the dark room. However dark the room is, there will always be a splinter of light fighting to leap from the surface of the mirror that, for some reason, you need to legitimize your beauty. You kids are that light to me. I need you to know that, to feel beautiful, to tell others that they are beautiful. Knowing you kids are doing that will illuminate my room, and I’ll be able to see my mirror again. Stay beautiful.

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  1. What if there comes a time when all is dark and we can't see the beauty even with such faithful reminders?
    I think the world is too fickle to be one way or the other. I tend to rationalize my self hate with those moments that I do feel beautiful with the excuse that if I didn't have those dark times, I wouldn't know the difference.
    Your goal is good...it reaps great rewards.

  2. Might I add, you will always be an "important character in the sit-com of" my life.
    Strange as it might seem what you've said, alluded to, and my reactive feelings are reoccurring reminders in my brain.
    It goes further than that but it's early and my brain doesn't function at full capacity early.