Smile in your own mirror

Published 10:05 pm Thursday, June 18, 2015


By Bonnie J. Bardos 


“The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart…”


~ Derek Walcott, excerpt from “Love After Love”

The above poem remains a perennial favorite of mine; poetry is the song of life itself, the song that floats along our days, months, years. In finding a sense of delight at the stranger whom you’ve really known all along, the singing of the self, the soul, there’s a sense of unequivocal joy at greeting yourself at the door of life. Hopefully a bit of laughter, too.


My hip hurts, one friend moans, as another points out evil sciatica flared up last month. Well, that guy just had rotator cuff surgery, one points discreetly at lunch. Necks creaking, we all turn to peek.


Well, I see dots and things floating when I turn my eyes, someone else chimes in, and heaven help if I drive at night with bright headlights blinding me. Have you joined AARP yet, I snidely ask, proudly resisting any such sort of membership myself. I hear you get discounts on hearing aids, glasses, super glue and duct tape! Gotta tape those disintegrating parts back together so we can have another whine session! Everybody laughs.


Somehow, laughing and picking on the aches, pains, and sufferings of life makes it more bearable. Knowing everybody has something makes the serious become lighter. No one holds back: it’s allowed, as long as everybody gets their two cents in. Now that the whine pitch has exceeded a mosquito’s high notes, we’re really on a roll. Misery gets tossed on the heap o’ pain a bit longer.


Help! I can’t get up, now where’s my cabana boy when I need him? Help! I’ve lost my reading glasses, despite the fact I have 2,000 pairs! Help! I can’t see! Help! I can’t hear what you’re whispering in this noisy restaurant! (Can anyone hear?) But your ears don’t miss a single note of red-faced toddler screams at full blast…


Help! I can’t open a jar or anything child-proof! My feet hurt! My back’s killing me! Help! I can’t remember what I ate for breakfast or your name! Did I take my medicine this morning? Help, my waistband’s creeping up to my neck! What wise-guy put my name on the Depends mailing list for free samples? Who? By this time, the jokes at ourselves have been rolling. It’s comedy central on geezer patrol. Misery loves company, but even better, misery and life need a dose of unabashed laughter poked at it.


Smile, in your own mirror.


​Saluda Welcome Table is every Tuesday, with dinner served from 5:30-7 p.m. in the fellowship hall of Saluda United Methodist Church. All are welcome; donations are accepted.


Saluda Tailgate Market is open on Fridays from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the city parking lot off Main Street. Offerings include local honey, produce, delicious baked goodies, plants and more.

Saluda Community Land Trust’s “Walks in the Woods” continue through November on the first and third Sundays of the month. Meet at Saluda Library at 2 p.m. to carpool. Contact Chuck Hearon at 828-749-9886 or 828-817-0364 for information or contact SCLT at 828-749-1560 or visit


If you’d like to help preserve the historic Saluda Depot located at 32 Main Street, you can send donations or pledges (tax deductible!) to Saluda Historic Depot, PO Box 990, Saluda, NC 28773 or email Saluda artists Bill and Anne Jameson are featured through July 31 at the depot. The Jamesons are donating 50 percent of proceeds to benefit the depot. Thank you to all the volunteers who helped with the home tour and art reception last week.

On June 19, 5-7:30 p.m. at the Saluda Historic Depot, there’ll be a book launch for “Saluda” published by Arcadia Publishing as part of their “Images of America” series. This project was spearheaded by the Historic Saluda Committee with Cindy Stephenson Tuttle and Mary Ann Hester. Featuring many Saluda images that have never been published before, it’s a visual feast for history fans. The Saluda Grade String Band will play, refreshments will be served, and the book will be available for purchase. Come meet the authors and have a good time!


Happy June birthday wishes to Nancy Barnett, Verne Dawson, Peggy Ellwood, Anna Jackson, Charlie Jackson, Amy Violet Ford, Terry Arrington, Julie Arrington, Susie Welsh, Jeremy Edwards, John Savage, Eleanor Morgan, Mary Lu Price and Sigi Hendrickson.