‘I weep for Narcissus, but I never noticed that Narcissus was beautiful. I weep because, each time he knelt beside my banks, I could see, in the depths of his eyes, my own beauty reflected.’ ~ Paolo Coelho
Narcissus gets a bad rap. He falls in the river, obsessed with his own reflection. Then his name gets taken up as the worst of all offenses: narcissism.
What this quote brings up for me is that we are all obsessed with our own reflections, really. Isn’t that why we are hooked in certain relationships? Because like the river, we are enamored with the person we see as ourselves in a lover’s eyes or a child’s eyes or a parent’s eyes? We are mirrors for each other.
This is an aspect that I get to look at straight on right now, having just lost a grandmother and a father within a month of each other. I will never again see my grandmother’s eyes light up in delighted surprise when I walk into a room. I lost a father who reminded me of my best traits, especially at times when I needed to hear them most.
In mourning their deaths, isn’t it for myself that I weep? I miss the reflections, the ones that said, “Look! This is who you are. Beloved.”