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Obsidian Mirrors (part 2)

June 6, 2011

“. . . I believe the symbol at the top is sacred—a tree with six branches—but I am unable to give an interpretation. I found the mirrors—no one knows of their existence but I . . .

“. . . There is an inscription beneath the tree with six branches, which reads, thou shalt not surely die. The mirrors are large, utterly smooth, and black, and face one another directly, so that I see myself redoubled many times. The reflections are most distinct at certain points in the morning and evening, when the sun shines indirectly onto either surface, and then I see myself many times in both directions. Even then, the reflections escape me, because they are obscured in the dark obsidian, and lost behind my immediate reflection . . .

“. . . today the vérszerződés[2] was held. I went again to the mirrors and waited until the sun shone down at the right angle, and I could see myself many times. Something stirred in the glass in a distant reflection. For weeks I have sensed movement in the mirror, somewhere in the distance, but today I am positive I saw something. The movement was veiled by my more immediate reflections . . .

[There seems to be some sort of gap in the record here. I suppose Álmos did not visit the mirrors for a time, or he did not keep a record of his visits.]

“. . . I saw myself murdered in the glass. Somewhere in these duplicate spiritual worlds I am deceased, and my spirit is gone with the birds. And somewhere else my hands are soaked in blood, because, I fear, it was I who committed the murder. I am afraid my only course is degeneration, for I have no control over these infinite identities. I have no power to raise the dead. I have no power to absolve the murderer. . .

“. . . I have dreamed of the mirrors again and again. When I awake from my dreams I am lying between the mirrors although I do not recall falling asleep there. I think I have entered different planes—I believe I am a reflection of my former self. And now I’m convinced that the reflections hold every choice—every path in existence. There are infinite paths in the darkness, as there are infinite reflections hidden in the mirrors. I have begun to withdraw from my friends and family because I see in them the obscurity which I see in myself. There is no finding oneself in this labyrinth. . . .”

Here the manuscript ends abruptly. I have pondered extensively on the meaning of the mirrors. I have researched the works of countless philosophers and have weighed out the most likely interpretations. I have considered the implicit paradoxes of past and future, and the ethical responsibilities of the present. I have studied and pored and delved—and all the more have the sublime mirrors captured me in their boundlessness.

[2] The blood oath spoken of earlier, in which the seven tribes became one under Árpád.


© Trent R. Leinenbach, Ashen Apples, 2011.

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