Anatomy of the Glacial Face

Her face emerged from the mirror.

Her hand, unfamiliar to her, stopped to hold her chin.

The thumbs, liquid and transparent, slid over her tremoring lips.


Tears rummaged across her cheeks,

Flooding the crevice between nail and skin,

The hand, in a restorative massage blended them back in.


Not to be discarded, parts of you, don’t walk away.

The hands expanded their grasp, their palms a warm cushion,

Outlined the silhouette of her face and held her there in silent contemplation.


Resentment will not help you, self-loathing, forget about it, let them all go,

They are the ones making you blind, walk past yourself,

And what you really desire, peace, health, a clear mind focused on what you love.


Don’t pray for sabotaging forces, feed the hope you nourish,

Feed your self-worth and self-esteem, I carry your face in my hands,

And I sense that you have chastised yourself too much, it’s enough.


These minimising ministers have made you bow enough,

And look – nothing good came of it, you don’t recognise yourself anymore,

Remember the good serene qualities, the bad ones taught you a lesson unforgotten.


Hang on to what you can use to bring you further.

Don’t bathe your mind in the miseries of past encounters and heartaches.

You will never get your head out of the dark earth.


Now listen to your own voice, I can never be silenced,

And take a moment to apprehend your face in the mirror,

Can’t you see what you really feel and cherish and desire?


Never forget the value of a smile, directed at yourself,

Acknowledgement, isn’t that it?

The unburdening of the muscles, the release, the liberation.


You have found yourself again in miniature sparkles,

Reconciled your nature.

See, there, your heartbeat mellows and you aligned yourself with everything worthwhile.


“Jo, la belle Irlandaise” by Gustave Courbet (1819-1877)

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