The Birth and Death of Narcissus

by Kleitia Vaso

I know what may have happened to poor Narcissus. The reflection might be more tempting than the real image. Its deceptive nearness makes it seem more attainable.

Momentarily enthralled by the changeable appearance of a new sea, I instinctively walk towards it with each changing of the light. Not expecting anything to come from it as, being no photographer, I am unable to use it at the sea’s or my advantage. I simply want to see it, suspecting that it has things to show me without knowing beforehand what they are.

In the afternoon, despite the freezing wind, the seashore offers a heartbreaking spectacle that nearly suffices as a reason for being alive. As the sun sets out of view, pink clouds illuminate the silvery sea and are reflected on the wet sand, now transformed into a screen by the receding waves. The sky and the sea might be enough on their own; yet, greedy as we are, I stare at their reflection under my feet. Looking at them as though I will enter into their world, I walk towards the reflection which, unfortunately, frustratingly, remains at the same unalterable distance. Defying the laws of physics, I walk closer and closer to see them clearly until a not-so playful wave approaching my feet warns me that I’ve gone too far.

The imagined but forever mysterious face of the mythological character naturally comes to mind. Fortunately, this time, I am glad I reach him, through oceans of space and time, not from love of my own reflection. Surprisingly, for a few instants, my own being is of no importance to myself, and has no place in that reflected image. The sheer size of the beauty delimiting me, above my head and below my feet, makes everything else look paltry by comparison.

by Kleitia Vaso