What dynamite we handle when we lift a mirror or bend towards one!
Elizabeth Coatsworth, Personal Geography
Whenever I read tarot for new clients, I tell them that the reading is a mirror, providing perspective and clarity on the direction and challenges of their concerns. We know that the future is determined by past actions and present choices. The tarot is a mirror that makes it easier to see those actions and choices.
Still, bending toward the mirror is not always easy.
I celebrated my 64th birthday last week. While I celebrate the gift of another year lived, noting how many more years I’ve lived than my mother who died at 53, I also find bending toward the mirror (never mind bending at all) much like handling dynamite, hazardous at best.
In fact, I find new sympathy for the Wicked Queen in the fairy tale of Snow White. It is a hard thing to watch your body change—not with the power of newly discovered strength, sexuality, and independence but this time with increasing challenges to one’s strength, sexuality and independence. The Queen doesn’t just want confirmation that she is the most beautiful but also that she is still beautiful.
So yes, looking into a mirror is not always easy. And yet, they show us when grooming is necessary, where to apply makeup (or remove some) and whether or not, with our clothes and makeup, we present ourselves to others the way we intended.
Likewise, a qualified editor or critique group is a valuable mirror, helping you get distance and perspective on your work. They can show you where you need to do some grooming, if you need more or less of something, and if what you imagined or intended is what others will see.
You, of course, decide what type of mirror to use and when to use it. Some writers love critiques throughout the process of writing the book. Others prefer to wait until the manuscript is complete. Some have critique partners, others belong to groups or have beta readers. Whatever your preference, at least be sure to have mirrors and to use them…often.
Don’t be a writer that asks for a critique and then fails to listen to it. Don’t bend toward the mirror and then close your eyes.
Because if you close your eyes, you could be letting your book out into the world with a tangled mess on its head and smeared lipstick on its mouth. And that doesn’t serve you or your book.
Yes, make sure the mirror is of good quality, without distortions or cracks. But once you have a good quality mirror, make use of it. Use it to improve your book’s appearance, so that it reflects the story you wanted to tell in the best way you can tell it.
So, ready? Mirror, mirror on the wall…