Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mirror, mirror on the tree. . .

My home is situated on about three acres of forest. It's one of the reasons I fell in love with it and decided it would be my ideal home.

As soon as the winter melted away, I went to work in the forest. I dream of making it my own enchanted forest, reminiscent of all my favorite stories and fictional friends.

My husband found an old mirror on the side of the road one day and brought it home to me so I could use it for a project. I decided I wanted to hang it up among the trees. The mirror is a nod to Snow White, but that's not the only reference.

And there's the obvious Lacanian interpretation; when we look in the mirror, we “assume an image". 
What we see in our reflection directly informs our perception of ourselves, but what see in the mirror 
is a fantasy, not reality.

I love how the mirror, hung in the forest, reflects the forest, and makes it seem as though there is another world to be entered inside the one we know.

The forest is a mysterious place; it's wild and untamed and primal. It has to be survived rather than simply endured.  There's a reason why it is so often the setting in fairy tales and folktales. They are usually inhabited by mysterious creatures, symbols of all of the dangers with which the young protagonists must triumph over if they are to become adults. Think about it:

The wicked Queen orders the huntsman to take Snow White into the forest to be killed. However, he finds himself unable to kill her as she sobs heavily and begs for her life. She stays in the forest, befriending the dwarfs who come to her aid more than once.

Hansel and Gretel are led into the woods by their father at the request of their stepmother.

Little Red Riding Hood walks through the forest to deliver food to her sickly grandmother and meets the hungry wolf.

It's interesting that the forest represents femininity and motherhood, as a beautiful place in which life thrives and is renewed; all of the above stories have a female protagonist who meets danger in the forest, and two of the stories begin with a stepmother sending them into the woods. (By the way, I just happen to be posting this on Mother's Day.)

So once again it's obvious that I'm not satisfied with simply reading classic fairy tales, nor am I content to wax and wane about the symbolism contained in them, I need to create my own experience based on the stories and tales which are imprinted on my consciousness.

Whenever I look into the woods, and see the mirror I hung on the tree, it makes me think about what I see reflected there, and what I'd like to see reflected there.

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