Sunday, January 2, 2022

Who Am I? Art and Story by Sandra Russell

Art by (c) Sandra Russell
Who Am I?
by Sandra Russell

Who am I? This is a question many of us ask ourselves throughout our lives. not often, but periodically. A baby looking into a mirror is said to see another baby and does not comprehend the notion of reflection. How can I be there when I feel me, that must be another baby?  Eventually, he expects to see a reflection of himself, not only in shiny surfaces, but in other people as well. 

We don't know what to answer ourselves when we are alone. The answer for "Who am I?" comes from how our presence is reflected by others. In the film the Wizard of Oz, the Tin Man didn't think he had a heart. Interestingly, he was shiny and reflective, maybe difficult for those looking at him to see past their own reflection to the man behind the silver suit. At the end of the journey, the wizard gives him a heart-shaped watch and tells him that a heart is judged not by how much he loves, but by how much he is loved by others. Well with his group he was loved, but before he joined them, before he tried to find what he felt he was missing, he couldn't find it. Before he traveled with them, he was left to rust in the forest. He abandoned himself while waiting to be found.  

Again, we face threats of new variants for the Covid pandemic, and the fear of isolation that might bring. Last quarantine we got to know ourselves a bit better, reading and remembering, missing people we didn't think we would miss, just seeing the mailman became an event. We saw service people with a new regard, and returned a friendly face. We looked for the tinmen in our lives and reached out to share from social distance; an interesting invisible barricade, a bit like the baby with a mirror (here/over there). I got more Christmas cards this year than I ever have before. Now more people rely on the mail, on social media, and on looking out the window at the people passing by. They rely on staying in touch with those who can answer our "Who am I?"


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