The Healing Horse, Ch. 25, Scene 5: Magical Wisdom

photo of art deco dresser
In this scene, Karen brings her friends to her Mama’s bedroom, where they are awestruck by the image of themselves in a mirror. This is what the dresser looked like, but the reflection in the mirror is not what they saw.

(Image via Pinterest)

Scene 5: Magical Wisdom

Karen stopped outside Mama’s bedroom door.

“Close your eyes,” she said. “When I tell you to open, it will be like magic.”

“But I have to be able to see where I’m going,” Kimberly objected.

“No, you don’t. Just hold onto me while I push Tammy into Mama’s room. I’ll tell you when to look.”

“Okay. I trust you, Karen.”

“Me too,” added Tammy.

Karen slowly opened the door and pushed Tammy’s wheelchair until it was right in front of the dresser. Kimberly held tight to her waist. She could feel Kimberly’s breath on her neck.

“Okay! Open your eyes!”

“Magical,” Tammy sighed while trying to catch her breath. “It’s the loveliest thing I’ve ever seen.”

Kimberly spontaneously hugged Karen. “Oh yes,” she said. “The most beautiful.” She let go and stepped back.

Tammy was spellbound. Kitten stood behind her wheelchair, and Kimberly stood beside it. Before them stood a nineteen-thirties, burl walnut, Art Deco dressing table. Rather than conventional drawers on the sides and a table in the middle, it had columns on the sides with three large semicircular drawers topped by large flat surfaces to hold makeup, hairbrushes, and other beauty tools. In the middle, there was an open space so that one could lean forward toward the mirror that rose, gigantically, massively, shining back at them, round and bigger than all three girls. They stared, unblinking, into each other’s eyes reflected in the mirror.

As Karen and Kimberly stood silently, Tammy mumbled, then repeated more clearly, and then enunciated in a clear voice, “I wonder what it would be like to not have disabilities, to be able-bodied.”

Kimberly looked at Karen without speaking, her eyebrows raised. Kitten recalled what Pegasus had taught her and replied, “Why would you want that? My disabilities are important parts of my totality of me. They are who I am in many ways. I know the feeling of wanting a whole, perfect body, but nobody is perfect. A wise friend taught me that when I try for perfection, then I undermine my capabilities. We need to look at what we have, not at what we don’t have. We can all grow and improve in our own ways, but we will never become perfect. Besides, disabilities have a proud history. Think of Helen Keller and Franklin Delano Roosevelt! You and I stand proudly with them.”

Tammy said, “I understand, but haven’t you ever wondered what if? Sometimes, needing so much help drives me crazy. I don’t ever have any privacy. My mother has to do everything for me. I hate it!”

After thinking for a moment, Karen said, “Your mom doesn’t need to do everything for you. Speak up and tell her you want to try more by yourself. It’s not easy, but maybe she will understand. Anyway, who you are does not depend on what you look like or who dresses you. You’re a smart girl, and nothing can change that. Most people don’t have any disabilities at all, but they accomplish very little. But day by day, just like me, you can become proud of your disability because it is a beautiful part of the whole of you. Plus, I am your friend and will always be there for you. Nothing can ever get in the way of our friendship.”

Kimberly looked back and forth between Karen and Tammy with a solemn expression, her powder blue eyes wide with emotion. Her forehead wrinkled, and she did not speak.

Karen continued, “Kimberly, you don’t need to say anything. Being disabled is very frustrating. Sometimes it helps just to talk about it and to have someone listen.”

All three sighed and let the moment sink in.

Kimberly stepped between Tammy and Karen and the mirror.

“Who wants to try my lipstick?” she asked.

The spell of their image in the mirror was broken. Tammy was immediately restored to her friends. She was no longer hypnotized by either the mirror or by her mindset.

Karen and Tammy said, “You have lipstick? Where is it?”

“It’s at home,” Kimberly responded. “I can run home and get it if you like!”

“Yes, please, Kimberly!” both girls shrieked.

“I’ll be back in a jiff. It’ll only take a minute!”

Original text ©2022 by Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved.

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