Moronic Musings

and other junk as it occurs to me.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Through The Looking Glass

I was musing the other day as I drove (I do both a lot) and had an odd, yet fond memory.  When I was a kid, one of the things that I thought was really cool about my grandparents' house was the medicine cabinet.  It was a perfectly ordinary medicine cabinet, but when you opened it just the right amount, the mirror on it would reflect the large mirror against the wall and the result would be an optical illusion that appeared to be a tunnel stretching away into infinity.  Pretty much everyone who has a bathroom mirror and medicine cabinet has seen this phenomenon; it's nothing new.  But when you're a little kid and a huge part of your life is spent in your imagination, a sight like that can be magical.

As an adult, I often find myself allowing my mind to wander (big surprise there) about things like the mirror trick and, having the mind that I have, I wonder about the various reactions that different types of people might have when confronted with such an illusion as the one I've described in the mirrors:

Let's call the first type "The Engineer."  When these people see the tunnel extending into the distance, they instantly start wondering how it's caused.  They reason that the appearance of depth is an illusion and they might play around with the mirror, watching it expand and contract, imagining how the effect might be used in different settings.  Some years later, you may see some new type of laser technology based on light signals being bounced off of a couple of hyperbolic lenses that allows us to watch pay-per-view from Alpha Centauri cable TV.  All because an engineer somewhere remembered a crazy reflection.

I'll refer to the next type of person who might witness this curious visual treat as "The Face."  This individual is so taken by his own appearance that he barely notices the tunnel effect other than to be thrilled that his face has been multiplied infinitely.  This type can be seen on Facebook pics making the "pouty" lips, and also in music videos such as this (I apologize in advance for the lousy music, but I'm trying to make a point).  This sort of person often uses "me" and "I" statements, and is known to blatantly use internet abbreviations when they are not called for, even in speech.

The third type we'll discuss is my personal favorite, mainly because I'm included in this group.  Hey, it's my blog, so why not?  This type is known as "The Dreamer."  Upon seeing the miraculous mirror tunnel, The Dreamer has been known to lapse into a trance-like state and starts imagining things like what worlds lie at the end of the tunnel and how one might get there. I can't tell you how many trips I stole to the bathroom as a little kid to watch that amazing portal come to life in the mirror.  The Dreamer might wonder if maybe each person looking back along the path of mirrors is in a different dimension, and whether they're in a safer or more dangerous setting.  That person might crawl into his bed at night after just having taken another peek into the inter-dimensional doorway and drift off to dreamland on wings of marvelous machines that have somehow slipped through the looking glass.  People in this category tend to end up artsy types, and have been known to write ego-bloating blogs, but they're mostly harmless.

The fourth and final type to be discussed is "The Guest."  When they open the mirror-door, they don't see anything.  This is because they're rifling through your prescriptions and being nosy.  I've read that something like 40% of people who visit your bathroom snoop in your medicine cabinet.  Imagine that!  It's never occurred to me to peek at my friends and neighbors' pills and snake oils, but apparently more than a third of the people reading this do.

I guess the point of this somewhat rambling blog is that we all have something of wonder left in us, no matter how old or how much we have seen in life that might try to steal that wonder.  I must say this: our wonder, no matter how deeply buried, can be regained.  It might take something as complicated as a trip to the Grand Canyon or as simple as a trip to the medicine cabinet.  Search for it, never stop trying to find it.

By the way, if I've ever been in your necessary room, you can bet that the only thing I was looking through in there was an interdimensional portal.  Your prescriptions are your own business.


  1. Wonderful as always, Sweetheart. You've shown me how to allow myself to have that "wonder" in my heart and mind. It's a good place.

  2. With us, I think the wonder is that we don't get committed to a state hospital!

  3. Comment to come later... I have to come over and check out your medicine cabinet first (grin).

  4. Should I fill it with marbles? I heard that's a good way to break a snooper. My 15 year-old shared that gem with me.