Beauty reflected

You probably know the old story of Narcissus, the young handsome man that every morning came to a forest lake to contemplate his own beauty in the mirror reflection of the water.

He was so mesmerised by this sight that one day he fell into the lake and drowned. And at the spot where he fell, a narcissus flower started to grow.

However, there is also a lesser known, more beautiful ending of the story originally written by Oscar Wilde in his Poems in Prose, and later retold by Paulo Coelho in his book The Alchemist.

“When Narcissus died, the Goddesses of the Forest appeared and found the lake, which had been fresh water, transformed into a lake of salty tears. ‘Why do you weep?’ the Goddesses asked. ’I weep for Narcissus,’ the lake replied.

’Ah, it is no surprise that you weep for Narcissus,’ they said, ’for though we always pursued him in the forest, you alone could contemplate his beauty close at hand.’

’But….. was Narcissus beautiful?’ the lake asked.

’Who better than you to know that?’ the Goddesses said in wonder, ’After all, it was by your banks that he knelt each day to contemplate himself!’

The lake was silent for some time. Finally it said:

‘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.’”

Seeing your own beauty reflected in the eyes of another person and reflecting his or her beauty in yours is a precious gift, requiring a mindful presence. You will need to take a step back and open your heart and be ready to reveal your innermost vulnerabilities.

Illustration: – SofieZborilova

svensk_flagga   Detta blogginlägg på svenska

Author: Karl Ekdahl

International public health leader and creativity blogger.

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