For a long time, I’ve been semi-fascinated by The Mirror Project. I never submitted anything, though, because my relevant pictures were years old and would need to be scanned, cleaned up, and all that kind of thing. I was basically being lazy.
But now I have a Canon PowerShot S45, and taking reflective images is a simple matter of having enough memory space and clicking away—and no scanning needed later on. In the meantime, though, I’ve discovered another limit to my participation in the Project. I’m not willing to go out and intentionally create images appropriate for the Project: they have to be “found reflections,” as it were. I’m only interested in reflections that occur in the course of my normal actions, and just in the unusual ones. I can see myself reflected in a monitor any time the system goes to sleep. Yawn. Now that I think about it, perhaps my main interest is in reflections in non-glassy surfaces.
So now I have two entries in the Project, both taken in the last month: Pitcher Picture and Eye See Me. The latter is the most interesting to me by far, but I didn’t know I’d be taking it when I submitted the first one.
My most recent trips have been eventful, and sometimes stressful, but they’ve had a very beneficial side effect. For the past few months I’ve been pondering my professional and personal lives, wondering if I’d be better off doing something else or adjusting my balance. Everything’s been up for consideration: my career, my line of work, my interests, my relationships with friends, my relationship with Kat—everything. A lot of this springs from turbulence in the wake of my mother’s death, of course. But thanks to my constantly changing locations and moods, I’ve been able to look at my life from new angles. In the sharing of ideas and recent personal events, I’ve found a new way to look at myself. I needed that quite a bit, and will need it even more in the coming weeks and months.
It hasn’t helped me catch up on my e-mail, sadly, but two or three things at a time is all I can handle.
Today, behind the sounds of wind rushing the summer trees and birds chirping, I can hear high-performance race cars in the distance, gearshifting and Doppler shifting with a muted, hyperactive beehive sound. It takes me back two decades, when I lived with my parents about the same distance from Mid-Ohio that I now live from downtown Cleveland, and we could hear every weekend race echoing over the hills and forests of north central Ohio. Usually I’d hear them while out in the back yard, weeding Mom’s gardens as part of my weekly chores. I remember the sun on my back and the insects buzzing around me, entranced by my hair color… the smell of the earth as I ripped weeds out of it, the color of dirt in the afternoon sun, my grouchy mood over having to get mud under my fingernails, which I hate. And the sound of wind in the trees and annoyingly cheerful avian chirps all around me.
I also remember the time that I and the woman I then loved went to Mid-Ohio to watch a go-kart race. We knew someone who acted as pit crew and engineering staff for one of the racers, and these were serious vehicles: they ran on high-performance fuel and could exceed highway speeds in a matter of seconds, despite being about a third the size of a regular compact car. The race went only a few laps before there was an accident. The driver who lost control was killed, a rare and shocking event even for the other drivers. The race was cancelled, and we all went home early.
The sound of the go-karts racing wasn’t altogether different than the sounds of stock or performance cars. It was just louder because for once I was standing next to the track, instead of sitting a few miles away weeding. Or typing.