The Norwegian slide easel stands in triplicate before the mirror's triptych riddle. Two explorers from the turn of the century look out of the frame: why did the deer leap so high and so fast? The light has faded to a friendly vintage sepia. They stand on shale or scale, the mountain's dust, arms about each other's shoulders. They have climbed, hand after hand after hand, an unbreakable link, taken a turn around themselves, to send this small miraculous image and send it fluttering down the generations to land here on your birthday dressing table, beside the roses and the pumpkin-shaped box of dark chocolates.
Why is time fallow? Now it pools, as dark as the rust on a starling's breast, now it is a leap across the road, now it is read in the wind's spirited script blowing near illegible across the field. This is how to make sense of the world. The tiny silvered print shivers and is still. Macro and microcosm. We're in there somewhere. Here is the light catcher winking a semaphore of shame and redemption, of loss and restoration. Don't ask how something can be so beautiful in such a sad place. Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear.
Maybe his wife will suffer a push through the earth, or a slip through the feathered air, or a rising funnel of bubbles from the pond and rejoin him, here, in this moment, now. While all the other possibilities are still looking elsewhere. Maybe they will find their reunion in the multiple refractions of the mirror's threefold version of their lives and the slide will momentarily be them, on their wedding day, beneath a storm of rice, held precariously in honour on the humble Norwegian slide easel.
The copyright of this post belongs to Claire Steele