and in the distance shows a mirrored image of himself
(rear view)before an easel on which both (the image
and himself) are busy with the larger portrait (a front view)
reflected in the second of two mirrors
(which, being just behind it, the image cannot see)
and tell me which you would most trust for its veracity -
you've one of three (be wary, though, for by your choice
you might define reality).
Now change the metaphor: three ancient manuscripts:
the first is the original. The analogy
is with the painter - who in the case above
is never seen, and in the matter of the manuscript,
exists in fragments and in "reconstructions" of the past
from later copies. Call the painter and the ancient manuscript
The Source. One copy of the document
is close in time to the original (a front,
one quarter view) from which a later copy
(corresponding to the front view of the painter) has come down.
Which will you take as your reality, the self-
depicter's (rear) view, incomplete because the features
are unknown, the now fragmented manuscript?
the self-depicter, out of sight, unknowable? the more
straight-forward image from the glass?
The mirrors show us look-alikes, but not the man.
(No man has seen the world's view of his face.)
It isn't just the blemish in the glass,
it's what can happen to the image when reversed.
(Try holding up this typescript to a glass
and think how with much greater subtlety
it might indeed make changes to your face.)
The look-alikes are filtered through the painter's brain,
the properties of paint and canvas take their toll,
the man is no more human than a doll.
He looks at us, but only sees himself.
We look at him and see a bit of us, a blemish
and what he sees of him.
This is a response to Writers Island's prompt of Epiphany. (Apologies for being late with this link.)