Image~Reflection

Beautiful
Tranquil
Peaceful
Unreal images of reality
The reflection of the sun
Shimmering on the glass surface
Of the early morning lake
Is exquisite
The silver sparkles spread across the water
Flickering as tiny ripples emerge
The reflection of the sun is beautiful
But it shares no warmth

The pine tree stands sentry at water’s edge
Protecting the land from erosion
Giving home to birds, bugs, squirrels, spiders and more
Dripping sap and needles indiscriminately
Shedding pollen across the lake surface
And all passersby
The pine tree solid and true 
Engages fully in lake life
The gorgeous, the plain and the ugly

The water reflects the image of stalwart pine
At certain times of day
In just the right light
The beauty is mirrored by still water
It is an illusion 
Enjoyed, but not to be relied upon
The ripples come, the storm clouds hover
Night descends
The mirrored image disappears
But the pine remains
In all its battered beauty.

In early years
Image is what I learned
Look “perfect” and you won’t get in trouble
Hide the flaws, be the un-scarred image
Walk the line of perfect
Earn heaven and avoid hell
Punch your card

White first communion dress
White wedding dress
Perfect grades
Perfect attendance
Obeying all the rules
The religion of obedience without question

Life was but a reflection until the clouds thickened
And ripples appeared 
Reality insisted on being acknowledged
As I reached deep within to truth
I was cut by shards of the glass mirror
And risked drowning in the still waters
For reflections have no depth.

My image pontificated
On the evil of abortion
Until a person dear to my heart
Shared with me her abortion story.
She had suffered alone
Not daring to call out to me
My image of perfection
Spoke judgment and intolerance.

Briefly, I glimpsed my false image
I saw how love suffered in the presence of righteousness
I saw the pain and suffering caused
By narrowed vision

My image
As good Catholic
Married forever
Was a thin film as well
As the surface ripples became white caps
I learned to release the lie of the façade
I learned to listen to the Spirit
And choose life for my children and myself
My image, my false self was crumbling
As my true self
And its shadow fought to survive authentically. 

Behind the facades of perfection
Hide imperfect people
Some insisting on inserting their beliefs upon our world
Without regard for lives
Yes, without regard for lives
Without compassion or mercy
Without love for broken and battered humans

Sitting at bedsides of dying people
People who are living from their truest selves
As they are experiencing their bodies failing, dying
Theirs is not a false image
From these wise people I have learned
Love is all that matters
Truth is all that survives
Judge not.
Judge not.

6 thoughts on “Image~Reflection

  1. Deep. Very deep. It makes one stop and think about the daily goings on and to not just accept things; but to remember to look beyond the facade to the structure that supports it.

    Liked by 1 person

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