A long time ago now, I wrote a piece of theological reflection on the topic of theological reflection and chose to use as metaphors assorted images from the world of optics and vision. It seemed to appeal to the person who marked it, sparking her own suggestions of additional metaphors.
The title of my essay was Seigel in Speigel - the mirror in the mirror - and I pondered the idea of the inifinity of reflections that arise between two parallal mirrors.
At one level this is quite a healthy and helpful image, because it's a reminder that reflection is never a finished product, that there are always more reflections being formed (or capable of being formed).
At another level, it's a troubling image, because it recongises the potential for over-reflection, of potentially becoming trapped between the mirrors, endlessly watching the reflections increase in number, maybe without ever quite seeing whatever it was that was sought, and unable to let go and move on.
Over the last couple of days, topics such as reflection, self-awareness and personality have all been signfiicant in important conversations, and that's been good. It has also given me a huge amount to think about in relation to myself, especially how I see, or feel about, myself and how others perceive me. I think the swan image is helpful - seemingly 'together' and gliding along (not sure I actually glide but never mind) whilst underneath the feet are paddling hard... All my life some people have assumed that I am confident because I am competent, whilst the inner story is that my lack of confidence leaves me constantly questioning my competence. This makes me wonder how inaccurately I read other people based on my own inaccurate, biased or even 'projected' perceptions.
Hmm, lots to ponder - but I'll try not to 'over-reflect' :-)