Once upon a time, I lived in a cabin high up a rugged and rutted gravel road on a green Appalachian mountainside. The cabin was one room with a wall of windows where I could watch the clouds roll in and away again. I was in my mid twenties, had a job I loved, and had just begun taking my first serious dance classes. Late one night, hopelessly lost in the back streets of downtown Asheville, I pulled into a parking lot to figure out how to find my way home, and saw the glint of several huge mirrors that had been ripped out of a hotel renovation project and left out for the trash collectors. Any new dancer knows that a good mirror is crucial to private study, so I enlisted a friend to load them up and haul them to my home. The first one shattered, and the top of the second developed a jagged edge, but we managed to wrestle two of them into the vehicle, over the mountains, and into my life.
After a year in my solitary mountain studio I became a city girl, living in the heart of downtown Asheville. My mirrors came with me.
When my sister Mary visited the big city, the mirrors witnessed our sister spats and ridiculous bouts of Goodwill inspired dress up.
My mirrors reflected the transformation in my life after I met the tall half Mexican guitarist who would quickly become my fiance, and served as the backdrop for the pictures and stories that got us through a year of long distance engagement.
And when I married and moved across the country to the smoky grey industrial city of Pittsburgh, the mirrors came with me, adding light and beauty to the dark apartment where we spent our first year of married life.
There is a mysterious and magical quality to those silvery mirrors, doubling and deepening the light in any room and transforming any space into something more. But oh, those jagged edges and the sheets of heavy glass balanced precariously against my wall. My toddler loves to dance in front of those mirrors, for hours… and that is why it is time for those mirrors to exit my life. I’m listing them on craigslist, today, in the free section, in hopes that some young artist with a big truck to transport them and a studio with no children wants to spirit them away. Meanwhile, I’m headed out to the thrift stores, in search of a safer sheet of glass to reflect my current life, which is still full of dancing and dress up- and now includes small dancing dressed up children as well.