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Sunday, September 12, 2010

The myth of Narcissus

(photo courtesy of John Nash)

The above picture of a high school cross country team appeared in the local paper this week. I happen to know these girls, and all six are quite pretty -- which you can sort of tell from this picture. The picture captures their sense of camaraderie well -- but that is not a flattering angle for anybody.

The picture brings to mind the story of Narcissus, who is supposed to have fallen in love with his own reflection in a pond. (Evidently they didn't have mirrors back in those days.)

Try it sometime. Or better yet, just set a mirror down on a table and look into it. How do you look? With your head tilted forward, your face appears fatter, your eyes piggier, and your chin doubles up. How could anybody possibly fall in love with himself from that angle?

I could understand if Narcissus had had a side-lit, full length mirror at his gym where he could gaze at himself after pumping up on the Cybex machines. But a pond surface? Hard to believe.

That's why they call them myths, I guess.


Anonymous said...

I see where you took this, John. As a sideline, you could'nt have picked a photo of a more empathetic group of teenagers.

John Craig said...

Anonymous -- I know one of 'em real well. And believe me, she shows absolutely no empathy for me.