He awoke that morning and believed it to be like any other. Placing his feet flat on the floor beside his bed, he put down the phone he had already surveyed for fresh news. Nowhere in his conscious mind was he aware how life changing today would be. Nowhere in his body could he feel the earth ready to fall from under him, like so many dreams he once carried as a child. And yet, that is how it goes. This, so often, is how the moment arrives. One awakens on a day that presents like any other, only to make a discovery that changes it all, forever.
And so, as he stepped from his bedroom onto the heated tiles of his bathroom floor, it happened. It was a single unexpected glance at himself, a millisecond in which he saw another man staring back, with a look so raw and exposed that he was cracked wide open. Hit by an insight at once so profound and obvious, he is at first unsure of its newness, uncertain whether he has really not seen this man before. There is the chance that he has; that he has previously encountered this view of himself and been simply too busy to act, so consumed in another world that he filed it for later. Now, staring into the bathroom mirror, there is suddenly the clearest vision he has ever had of him.
His reflection reduces him. The sheer power of it holds a torch to everything he is; a man, mid-forties, who feels like a child. A man so utterly focussed on the destination of his life that the journey has been a blur of all things, except money and work. Sure, there are impressions of other significant moments, imprints of love maybe and a fine chainmail of met desires. But right now, on this morning no different from any other, none of those memories are able to hold his ground. He looks down from the mirror to witness a crack forming fast beneath his feet. His first response is to marvel at how certain its pattern, how already fully formed its angles. Driven this way and that by its own undercurrent of failing foundations, he can only sense the depths to which the crack runs. He feels the house of himself shaking.
Returning to his reflection, with more desperation than bravery, he seeks the saviour he has extracted from so many other sources. Yet here, instead of relief he is accused, and for the very first time, seen. He does not know which is worse. This man in his mirror is seeing him, without affording him the luxury of looking away. The is no possibility of numbing here, no distraction, no co-dependency, no relief from something presenting as more important in this moment. This man in the mirror is staring at him like he himself is the crack in an otherwise perfect universe. A flaw in something beautiful and precious. This man staring at him, sees every forward motion of his own split foundations; the solid ground fractured by a relentless undercurrent of expectation, denial, compromise, addiction, self deception, disappointment and pain. He sees it all, even that which has been paved over with rivers of excuses.
The weight of being seen so clearly, causes our man to place his weight on the sink before him, the only way to steady his now rocking world. The man in this mirror has invaded his morning and he will change it all, if let loose. The freedom he is demanding is so full of power, so full of light that it hurts, it is blinding. It is 6:35am on a Tuesday morning and his reflection is forcing him awake to the depths of his soul. It is no longer willing to hide, no longer content to wait or share space, and it is strong. He knows only one of them will survive and in his gut he understands, it is the last chance for them both.