What feelings does this word evoke? What sorts of memories does it recall? Which of your senses start to tingle? How would you represent what this word means to you?
Mirrors. Oh, I spent a long time thinking about mirrors. I came across an early proposal for the mermaid project the other day; it included a list of all sorts of things that contain mirrors. Kaleidoscopes (have you ever come across the sort that have glitter and beads and sequins suspended in a tube of some sort of clear viscous liquid? They drift from one end to the other and when they are reflected in the mirror the effect is one of such opulence that one might be in a jewel casket). Periscopes. Pepper’s Ghost.
Blue skies in still puddles. A streak of moonlight on the sea. The moon itself. And Alice.
Now we see in a glass darkly. Now we see only puzzling reflections in a mirror… There are various metaphors in the New Testament; that’s one of the best of them, I think.
I’m aware that this is only the surface of the concept, with no more substance than a reflection. That feels appropriate. I can see myself, double-reflected in the double-glazing of the patio doors. You won’t find even one of me behind them, and if you reach out to touch the reflection all you meet is cold, clear, glass.