Lego of my ego
(art by Nathan Sawaya)

reflectionPassage into a pixelated world.....


Like Alice, I have long suspected that there is more to the mirror that that which we can see. The mirrors in our bathroom, for instance, are flecked with gold dust and sometimes I can swear that they are hiding something of import. And, after a shower, how can I be sure that the thing moving there is me? It only but vaguely resembles me in color and form. There are no details. How much can we know? How can we know?

Only by seeing, by experiencing for ourselves. And so this morning, before work, I decided to see. To experience for myself.

Unlike Alice, I did not find that the glass melted away, just like a bright silvery mist; no, instead the glass seemed to fragment. It was like pushing my hand into the bucket of nails at the hardware store. Cool, chunky, difficult, and, at times, briefly painful.

The trick in any endeavor, of course, is once you have begun, never to stop. Just keep moving forward. And so I did.

My eyes adjusted quickly to my surroundings, but my muscles, less so. Each movement was slow and labored, almost as if I were rebuilding my body with every twitch.

The first citizen of the world behind the mirror that I met was a yellowish fellow. I had difficulty reading his expression. I asked him if he felt well, and he shook his head slowly.

yellow"I am not well," he said.

I placed my hand upon his shoulder, but he shrugged it off.

"Please," he said. "I am not well. My insides feel . . . . I don't feel . . . solid. I am afraid I am dying.

He reached into his sternum at this point and opened up his chest. The contest therein poured out, and I could see what he meant.

"You . . . aren't quite . . . together, are you?"

He only gazed down and shook his head sadly.

"Legos to legos, blocks to blocks," he mumbled.

I nodded in sympathy, then moved away. A strange disorder. I did not yet fear the world I had come to, but I did wonder at the landscape around me. The strange squareness of it all. And as I looked about and stumbled forward, I accidentally kicked a small pile of blue bricks.

blue"I'm terribly sorry," I said.

"Not to worry," replied the blue man whose arm it was. "The mess was not of your making. I just need to get this finished so I can get about my day. It's terribly inconvenient to be without an arm. Would you mind handing me that rectangular section by your foot?"

My body slowly bent, a plastic popping and scraping accompanying my hand clear to the ground. I tried to grab the block, but as I fumbled, it simple latched onto my finger. I handed it to the blue man who thanked me kindly and added it to his wrist.

"Shouldn't be long now. Where are you headed, stranger?"

"I'm just exploring," I replied. Have you any suggestions as to where I should be headed?"

"Not particularly," he said. "Just be slow and beware of the gravity. Same as anywhere, I suppose."

I thanked him and moved on.

The mirror world is not so terribly different from our own. The vegetation is primarily brown and green, the sky is far away, the ambient sounds impossible to identify. And so I walked and looked and wondered why so few ever came this way. Why shouldn't we all visit the land behind the mirror at times? The people seemed kind. Why were there so few reports from this world beyond our own?

My reverie was interrupted by a terrifying scream, the shattering of connected blocks, the rattle of body raining across the ground. I stumbled forward as quickly as I could manage.

red"Oh! oh! oh!" came the cry, each oh more broken than the last.

I turned the corner and there beheld a man, destroyed to the waist, below me by at least five feet. He was screaming and gathering his blocks to himself, but when he saw me, he lifted his gaze and his arms and begged for my help, his plaintive, plastic tone pierced my heart and I wept white tears, which plummeted down the cliff and mingled with his flesh.

"What can I possibly do?" I asked. I could not reach him; I could not save him. I could not attempt a descent without shattering my own body as well. I tried to remove a tree branch in hopes of making a path for him to climb, but my fingers broke off and I had to spend an hour trying to reattach them.

I wept with him some more, then bid him adieu. What could I do?

And now I was afraid.

I hurried back along the path I had come, past trees and static water, past pixelated rocks and, finally, past a mound of sad yellow bricks.

A few more anguished steps, pieces of me popping off in my haste, and I could see our bathroom. The back of the faucet, I noticed, needed cleaning. I had not put my shaving cream away. I reached out and pushed, but could gain no entrance. I pushed again, harder. Nothing.

"You will never get in."

I turned and the blue man regarded me.

"Once we are here, we are here. There is no escape."


"We are too square, and that world is too round and attenuated. We cannot fit. We cannot pass through the barrier. Our angles are too sharp, our lines too long."

"But--my life! my family! I'll be late for work! I need to pick up my check today."

"We are too, too square. Perhaps . . . . But no. I cannot believe."


"I hope to find one day a portal more blocky, more like ourselves."

At this I fell to my knees and never had I felt such pain. The blue man helped for a while, then left me when he saw I could repair myself.

The act of placing block upon block freed my mind and I considered my damnation, trapped in a simple yet unwanted existence. I knew I must escape. And I believed I knew a path.

And now, now is the time to try.

The mirror is analog, but not so your monitor.

Stand aside.

I am trying to come through.



  1. um. I don't know what to say, but I just wanted to say something.

  2. Why couldn't you have put your shaving cream away before you went through!!??

  3. Yay! The Theetids are coming to visit!

  4. That was beautiful.

  5. Oh, dear . . . Legos can be gory