November 5, 1999

Views From Metropolis


Wendy M. Pfeiffer

Part 16 in a Series

I intended so much more. My view was perfection, the Metropolis, an
afterthought. My vision was so bright, so powerful. I was in thrall to my own
words. I sold myself.

But self-perception and self-power are deception and denial.

A man who sees the truth about himself, but rejects it, is like the man who
gazed at his reflection in a mirror, and then walked away. As soon as he had
left, he forgot the image he had seen. A man who sees the truth about himself
and accepts it, is like the man who gazed intently at his reflection in a
mirror, and then walked away. After he left, he carried the image with him
everywhere he travelled.

Yet even a child will tell you that the face in the mirror is not "real".
Cats know this so instinctively that they will ignore their mirror-image while
vainly grooming. Objects in mirrors are closer than they appear. They are too
close for comfort.

So I looked, and the image I saw was unbearable.

She was afraid of silly things--had strong phobias, actually. She was
angry, co-dependent, and weak-minded. She was impatient with imperfection, yet
anxious to "fit in." She used words and people to get the things she needed.
She was arrogant and insecure. She was dishonest. Though surrounded with
people, she was alone. And most of all, she was powerful.

The power came through the words. The words, as they flowed, bred more
power. And this power was limited only by imagination. Imagination focused on
the pursuit of power produced words rich with magic and meaning. Unconsidered
opinions were spoken with religious zeal and devotion. The words changed the
course of companies, of industries, of lives. Some lives were lost--directed
down wrong paths.

Its been five years since I gazed intently in that mirror. In those five
years, I have practiced integrity in the moment of choice. I have tried to use
the words with wisdom. I have tried to not "use" words. Perhaps the image was
not real. Perhaps I could see the image in a different light, with different
affect. It seemed important to try. Because the image was so unbearable.

And now I stand here, gazing through the looking glass. I make no reflection.
No one can really see me. I cannot see myself.

At least, that's the view
from here.

Check out for more Views....