Thursday 11 March 2010

Mirror, Mirror On The Wall..

“ONE thing was certain, that the white kitten had had nothing to do with it -- it was the black kitten's fault entirely.”

I don’t think I have read, in their entirety, either Alice in Wonderland or Alice Through the Looking Glass yet both are a large part of my upbringing and imagination.

I own at least one copy of each, somewhere in the house- I have watched the Disney version WAY too often and I have sat enthralled in a darkened cinema that no longer exists, entranced by the version from Czech filmmaker Švankmajer.

And, when I was ten I had a minor role in my primary school’s production of Through the Looking Glass.

There had been intense competition for parts and originally I had my heart set on one half of Tweedledee and Tweedledum – something about their insanity convinced me that this was the part meant for me and my friend Robert.

Unfortunately we were up against stiff competition from the class favourite, and rival for Karen Wilmot’s kiss, Jonathan – who was so talented he was probably capable of playing the two parts on his own.

The choice went against us and I was given the role of a white rabbit, confusingly so as I can find no mention of the beast in the online summaries I have just looked at; my main scene was to offer a plate of brown bread to the fighting Lion and Unicorn.

I became so bored backstage waiting for this moment that I started to eat the bread by tunnelling in at the bottom and excavating the interior.

When the Unicorn, evilly transformed in my mind to Jonathan (or perhaps he played three parts), came to pick up the bread it was so light compared to our rehearsals that it flew from his hand into the audience.

We also had two Alices; they alternated performances. At the end of the run the teacher responsible had two group photos taken, they differed only in the Alice at the centre and we were given a choice of which photo we wanted.

I suppose we were meant to choose the best image of ourselves but I only had eyes for Alice -one of them.

Long fair hair, pretty frock and a big blue ribbon that mirrored the mystery of her deep blue eyes.

I never spoke to her, but we played chess once. She won. I was hypnotized.

Eyes - mirrors of the soul?

I have an ambivalent attitude to mirrors – I was shocked when someone pointed out that by looking at yourself you could see death at work; I am fearful of dropping one and gaining seven years bad luck; yet I am intrigued by it’s potential of infinity.

My mother’s dressing room table and prominent mirror was a place of intrigue, my father’s car rear view mirror imposing and frightening.

The Queen in Snow white was erotically terrifying.

Yet to be able to pass THROUGH the looking glass and see what is on the other side – well 'tis "the stuff dreams are made of”.

Last year I signed up for an online blog challenge – 31 days to improve your blog – and among the 31 tasks and all the advice and encouragement there was talk of Guest Posts.

For a long time I have been thinking about how to introduce them to my blog and for an equally long time I have been thinking how to make it a bit different, a bit Bitsnbobs-ish.

There were some early ideas, shot down by justified under-enthusiasm among those I approached - but then I started thinking about Alice and then Mirrors.

I have contacted everyone who has made contact with this blog, or at least those I know about and was able to contact, and I have invited then to create their contribution to a series of Mirror posts.

The idea was to take anything on my blog, any aspect thereof – content, photo, idea, title, word etc etc, and apply a personal Mirror to it.

I have left each person to interpret Mirror in any way they choose.

One person, expectedly and understandably declined, another said that time constraints would prevent their participation – but then surprised me one evening with a contribution. One is working still as I write and my son, as ever, ‘might’.

The series starts tomorrow.

There has been no editing unless requested by the guest and I have decided that they should stand alone with as minimal interference from the original post as possible. I will just leave a link should you want to read back.

The order will be that of their arrival on my desk.

I have tried to find a presentation format different than the blog’s normal appearance; I have struggled with the intricacies of HTML scripting but with only minor success.

I still can’t decide if it’s The Mirror Series, or Through the Looking Glass.

What do you think?


Janet Bianchini said...

Enjoyable post to read as usual. Thanks! The Mirror series sounds just as good as Through the Looking Glass and it really is difficult to decide. With all due consideration, I think "The Mirror Series" is the winner in my view as it fully reflects what the posts are about.

Maybe "Through the Looking Glass" could be an entirely separate and new series to reflect on "tis the stuff dreams are made of"? I can already feel a post tingling and formulating in my mind!!

popps said...

Ok, there's one vote. Thanks
Failing any others i will come up with something.
I'm thinking at the moment to have Through The Looking Glass as title, Mirror series in post but.......?

Vicki said...

You two sound remarkably like my editors.

popps said...

Intelligent, committed, passionate and critical?

Janet Bianchini said...

Discerning, precise, inquisitive and enthusiastic?

Anne Hodgson said...

The white rabbit is a lovely role to play, Chris. He leads without playing a leading role. His main line: "Oh my ears and whiskers, how late it's getting!" Perfect for the role you're playing in taking us into the Mirrors/Through the Looking Glass series.

popps said...

I had lovely big ears!

Vicki Hollett said...

Ha! All of the above. Plus hard working, underappreciated and underpaid no doubt.