Voni's View

Our vision depends on where we are standing

HOUSE OF MIRRORS : Concepts for survival and sanity

Image result for picture house of mirrors
I’m 8 years old at a traveling carnival.
Holding onto my parents’ hands, we walk into a tent full of funny mirrors.  People stand in front of them, some laughing, some screaming hilariously , and others walking away with disgusted looks on their faces.
Mom and Dad take me to one mirror: the three of us are long and funny looking.  The next one we’re all short and grossly fat.  I try to touch the mirror, but my hand changes so much that I draw back, a little frightened.
I didn’t see anything funny and am glad to leave!
 
I’m 15.  We are visiting an entertainment park, and go into the house of mirrors.
My friends and I all started laughing at each other, and the images in the mirrors.
It was funny – but at the same time I didn’t like it  That person in the mirror was a “me” that I didn’t know.
 house-of-mirrors-1
I’m in my early 30’s and sitting in a class studying the elements of culture shock.
The teacher uses an illustration about a “house of mirrors” and, although we are the same, the images thrown back at us are of someone we don’t really know. There are glimpses, but we have difficulty seeing ourselves in the reflections
When we are in a culture that is strange to us, we do what we’ve always done, but the reactions (mirrors) in those around us too many times show us something different.
This creates an inner confusion and we begin to wonder who we  really are?
 We need a mirror with the correct reflection so we can regain our balance and make better decisions.
 
August 1967  Santos, Brasil
When I move to Brazil, a new language and a new culture inundate me from the moment I step off the ship onto the docks: the smells, the yelling by the dock workers as they unload our containers from the Japanese freighter/passenger ship – and I can’t understand a word!
I follow someone through the utter confusion. Boarding a bus to take us to Sao Paulo (about 50 miles away), I look out the window and see road signs that I can only guess their meaning. Looking up at the sky and back at the now miniature docks and ocean, the bus heads up the winding road on the mountainside, leaving the ship that has been home for three weeks. I am overwhelmed. I recognize the only thing that still looks the same is the sky but even THAT will become unfamiliar at night with different galaxies and stars.
The vegetation along the way, how the people dress, even the sounds around me on the bus, and the bus itself:  it is ALL different.  The only thing I have to hang onto that hasn’t changed is God.
 
My new life is beginning. How is hanging onto God’s hand going to help me as I walk into this humongous “house of mirrors.?”
Have you ever asked yourself this question when life suddenly changes?  Maybe you planned the change; perhaps it happened against your will.
Regardless of the reason, every day the question pounds in your mind:  “How do I get out of this?”Image result for picture house of mirrors

About Voni Pottle

2 Replies

  1. Linda Hampton

    You brought me straight to Brazil with you. Your description of the culture and customs were fascinating. I didn’t realize that other cultures are so different from ours.

    1. Linda, the more I learn about cross-cultural communication the more I am drawn to it. I am also learning that it applies in far more areas than I first thought!
      I want to take your hand and share more …
      love you!

Leave a Reply