January's Fine Item
inJanuary 4, 2008 - 5:58pm
Polished surfaces of stone or metal have been used as personal mirrors for at least 8,000 years. Being self-aware and more than willing to gaze upon our own likeness served as impetus for the development of mirrors, as in pre-history it seems they were independently invented all over the world. A sense for local fashion undoubtedly assisted in their implementation. Every civilization has had its own idea of physical attributes that equal true beauty, and the ability to be able to carefully assess whether one’s own image was up to par with the local standards would be ideal.
Reflecting surfaces made of glass known in early Roman times continued to be made up until about the 7th century AD. Then mirrors disappeared for a long time, the means of their manufacture being lost to the Dark Ages. By the thirteenth century the ability (and perhaps the desire) to produce them again emerged. And we have depended upon the ‘looking glass’ ever since to assist in observing our outer being in order to see ourselves as others do.
Mirrors can never reflect, of course, what others may think they see in us. But they can cast back to the individual the attributes that they may want to see in themselves. When a New Year is born people tend to look inward, and some will resolve to make changes in their lives. The looking glass reflects everything behind us. Only the resolute heart can reflect the future.
Wishing peace and plenty for all in this - a New Year.