House of Mirrors

Like someone stumbling through a house of mirrors at the fair, I stumble through the light of day and loneliness of night with the word should reflecting my secret fears back at me. I see the distorted version of myself through the convex and concave reflection of the hall of should that echoes in my brain. I should wear this on Monday. I should say this the next time we meet. I should photograph that and not that. This is how a mother should act. This is who an artist should be.

The word should can get us in trouble. Trouble that slowly seeps in to our lives as our responsibilities and endless task list grow. Should is one of fear’s favorite words. Should keeps us within the distorted suffocating boundaries of who we think others think we are. We look into the mirror and should distorts our reflection. Should is not forthright, courageous , creative or valiant. Should is smoke and mirrors. Should is a wet blanket that we struggle to get out from under.

Keep an eagle eye on that sneaky word should. The yellow flowers at the garden centre shine so brightly, but we really should get home to make dinner. The cheerful rose hip colored nail polish catches our eye sitting on the drugstore shelf but we really should just get the diapers we came for. Should says we decorate and design this particular way. The call goes out for a Sunday morning ride but we should get ahead on Monday’s work. Should says beaten paths are the only ones to follow. Should has us arriving late to leave early hoping that the people we value and love will still be there when we finally finish ticking those boxes. Should leaps over tender moments in an attempt to beat the buzzer. Should whispers from the depths, “jump” and we unconsciously murmur back, “how high”? Should says finishing the walk is more important than stopping to look at the flowers or autumn’s brilliant colored leaves. Should says we have all the time in the world…right after we finish that one last thing. Should is a liar. Happy Monday from our home to yours.

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