The man and the mirror


The man and the mirror – photography by Henry Timisela

There’s a man. He lives in the woods. He’s been living there as long as I can remember. Not many people know of his existence. I guess the mailman is just one of them. Besides him, there’s me and a woman he has been writing for more than thirty-three years, she lives in India. They’ve only met twice. He grows his own vegetables, doesn’t eat meat. And every once in a while he goes downtown to buy himself a lot of books. Novels. He loves novels. And he meditates most of the time.

When I was a younger I used to visit him almost once a week. I would read him my stories and he would give me some usefull advice in return. On literature, on life. Why? Because I used to love writing short stories. But that was in another life. I got busy doing stuff that I thought were more important. I remember there was a small ritual we always performed right after I arrived in his little villa up in the woods. From a far the house looked like a small Taj Mahal. Strangely enough, he always knew when I would visit him. Before I knocked upon his door, he would already open it.

Strangely enough, he always knew when I would visit him. Before I knocked upon his door, he would already open it.

He would then run to the big mirror in the back of his livingroom. This is a massive mirror. A basketball team would easily fit in. We stood in front of the mirror and on the count of three, we started laughing. At ourselves. I would point at myself and laugh for straight ten minutes. The little old man stood right behind me and I saw him laughing too. Till it hurts. ‘If you are able to laugh at yourself, you are more able to see the sunny part of life,’ he taught me. I was offered a glass of water as we sat on the floor. I read him my stories. When it was time to go home, we would stand in front of the mirror, he took place behind me. And on the count of three… We laughed.

Many years have passed and the other day I found the stories I used to write and who never were published. I read them over again. Again. And again. They took me to another world. I could not believe I wrote all these pieces of art, as I may say. So colorful, full of joy and life. What happened to this writer who traded art to become a lemming who does what everybody else does? Wtf. I hopped in my car and drove to the woods. I wished and prayed he would still live there. From a far I spotted his little castle already. Yes. As I got closer and finally arrived, I wanted to knock upon the door, but I didn’t got the chance to do so, because it opened itself.

He pointed at the mirror. I knew what to do.

I entered the livingroom where I saw the man. The sun came through the window and lightened his face. He still looked exactly the same, but now he sat quietly in his wooden chair. There was no sound yet. He pointed at the mirror. I knew what to do. When I took place in front of the big mirror, I could hear him while he got out of his seat untill he stood behind me. On the count of three… we laughed. As I looked in the mirror, I then discovered I was all alone. All alone in the woods. I walked to my car, drove back. And wrote new stories.



4 responses to “The man and the mirror

  1. njadu bedankt dit is een heel mooi verhaal,maar met zoveel betekenis
    ik heb er van genoten

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