See Rightly

I look into the mirror, 
not at the face
I have grown
accustomed to see, 
but at the face
I may never see again
and ask myself:
“Is this the memory I want
to share with the world?” 

This is not a question
of smooth skin and youthful looks. 
It is a question of how much
of my soul shines through
the face I’ve hung out to the world. 

Those who see me rightly
will not care about my wrinkles
or the ravages of time. 
They will not be concerned
by the troubles I’ve endured
or the triumphs I’ve enjoyed. 

They will see through the mask
to the spirit that has moved
in this body and through this life. 

This I promise: 
I will train my eyes to see rightly. 

I will hold you, as I hold myself, 
in this mirror, accountable only
to the inner landscape, cultivated
and carved, not by the weathering
of the world, but by the way
you have or have not
loved your self.

Every once in a while, I realize that I no longer really see me, or even really see my face, when looking in the mirror. Or I look, not at me, but at how I might be seen by others. Then, on some rare occasions, I catch myself and I see the face looking back at me. I become aware of a presence looking through my eyes. It is always a bit surprising, sometimes disconcerting, and sometimes touching, to see this presence that has lived a life, that has suffered and dreamed, that has longed for beauty and been lost in life, and that still reaches for the stars, still tries after failing and still believes in love. When I see myself and others rightly, I see a miracle manifested with grace and dignity.  

What do you see when you look in the mirror? 
What do you see when you look beyond the face and see yourself rightly?

© Nick LeForce
All Rights Reserved

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