The mirror

The mirror does not lie, dear, you are not a king and I am not your Sphinx. You will not get rid of me by solving my riddles – nor will you end a plague, or save lives. On the other hand, you will not have to travel into the heart of darkness to find me. I am here, and I love a good conversation. Therefore, listen.

As the tale goes, there was a king, once, who ate his own son for supper. He did not know what he was doing, of course, the kid was all chopped up and well-seasoned. While he was eating, the king asked his maid: where is my son? Here’s a mirror, she said, open your mouth wide and look.

It is true: What we hold, we do not have to search for.

And once upon a time there was a king’s son who had been sent away from the house of his ancestors, where slaying kin was a family custom, and who came back to terminate the tradition. In order to end it, he massacred the queen, his mother, and her new husband, the ruling king.

Punch line: He could get to them because no one identified him when he came home, except, obviously, his sister, who would have been only too happy to hand him an axe, if he had needed one, which he did not.

And once upon a once upon a once upon a time there was a child of mine who loved art and was loved back so much that they would have lived happily ever after, except that in spite of love and in spite of art, one day in December, my child rented a truck and drove off to a suicide mission.

But all is well that ends well. At the last moment, my child veered away from the crowd and steered into a wall.

The skid mark of the truck described an instructing parable: truth is singular, but some parts of it matter more than others, at some point, and who you are includes what you have done, what you are doing now, and what you will do.

Bottom line, you shall burn after reading, because here I am, a counselor of the rulers and a teacher of historical lessons. It is what I have always been doing, what I am doing now, and what I will do behind all the stories you are about to read.