Facing the Mirror

The test of the spirit

The trial of the spirit

When I first saw today’s Daily Prompt, my mind started firing off a number of pop culture references: Michael Jackson, Disney’s Mulan, even Cool Runnings.  Ultimately, I centered on Star Wars: Clone Wars (2003), as shown in the picture above.

Aside from the fact that Genndy Tartakovsky is one of my favourite animation directors and creators, I found this series to have very powerful storytelling in the terms of Anakin’s Jedi trials.  The final trial was the trial of the spirit, also known as ‘Facing the Mirror.’  During this time, Anakin sees a cave painting come to life before him and gives him a history of the people he has come to help.  Then the story moves beyond the present and shows a very dark future of technology taking him over, with an echoing cry from Padmé.  Not the thing you like to see, but was very much something that he could have changed.

This would have lead to a disruption of the Star Wars universe, but that’s for another time.

Knowing who you are and what you will become can sit very heavy.  It can be a blessing and a curse.  Furthermore, it makes you question yourself and your values.  I don’t have that same experience every time I conduct personal hygiene in front of a mirror, but there have been times when I prefer to look at the sink rather than my own eyes.

I’m not a perfect person.  I know that.  Learning to live with myself is a process that I’ve been working on for thirty-five years, and I’m still figuring it out.  Part of the challenge is that I keep changing.  Yet, change is inevitable and something that must be embraced.

I’m going to finish off with a clip from another animated feature which stuck a chord with me.  Batman Animated Adventure Episode “Mean Seasons” featured the villain Calendar Girl, a former model turned villain when media outlets refused to employ her after she turned 30 due to her lack of appeal to the younger demographic.  Ashamed of her aging visage, she donned an opaque mask and started a life of crime.  The scene where she was apprehended still burns in my memory whenever I start to pick out physical traits I don’t like about myself.

9 thoughts on “Facing the Mirror

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