To love a stranger as oneself implies the reverse: to love oneself as a stranger. One day she wondered who looked back at her from the bathroom mirror. The fragile yarn of knowing, how it enters the cat's mouth. She sits inside the window at once behind and before me, doubly framed. Now wanders into the kitchen to eat. To be abject is to consume oneself. But to lose yourself in the mirror is stranger yet. In photos of herself, my mother saw only her mother. We own what we use, but when usefulness drops like a shift to the carpet, we exit our chrysalis scathed. “It was as if, without even trying, she'd become a Buddhist.” There's no irony in the newspaper, only revision, where to re-consider seems more crucial than consideration. Compassion knows no drafts.
3 months ago