Self-Portrait Reflection

by Bailey Smith


They say a picture’s worth a thousand words yet they are all open to interpretation, and with no description there is no context and with no context leaves us an ability to create one, so, let’s create one okay here we go, what do we see in this reflection oh wow he made it a reflection to so now we can talk about how symbolic that is right I mean how strange is it that we are the person we somehow are but we will never be able to see our selves only reflections in our mirrors and windows and our front facing iPhone cameras when we fix our hair I mean how did people three thousand years ago fix their hair that’s a question I want to know but we can see in this picture that it is a window obviously since it is translucent and now we have some context, I guess, but where is the window, is it in a bedroom, is this kid lonely oh yeah he must be lonely I mean look at his face his eyes it looks like he’s crying why would he take a picture while crying well maybe he’s at a significant other’s house and something bad just happened, maybe she or he broke up with him, maybe he’s tripping and saw the first reflection of himself and thought he truly saw himself for the being he was for a second and just had, just had TO take a photo well I like the explanation where he was lonely I guess I just went off on a tangent so he is lonely in his room, he has trees and blue sky in backyard but doesn’t go out there because he’s taken so many pictures of the leaves and trees now that don’t meaning anything to him and made everything back there uninteresting because they acted like machines, MACHINES, he says they are suppose to be life-like not machines because it’s nature but he sees the same thing everyday, the trees just stand there like they are complacent with EXISTENCE! Come on now you are suppose to get up and make something of yourself just like his dad told him and it’s just sitting there letting the insects walk across it oh oops did I just use an ending punctuation mark I guess you English majors will be happy about that I finally ended something and didn’t leave it to interpretation like the photograph does it’s anarchy and anarchy is exactly what the good down to earth American does not want anarchy now freedom within a certain constricting bound yes anarchy no we need SOME structure in our life now right, I think so, so much structure that I shouldn’t have to explain this photo everyone should know how, where, why, it was taken and any of the interrogative words that starts with a W so here it is:

After returning to Millsaps for my sophomore year in August, I began feeling extremely disinterested in taking photos anywhere. Mississippi, after being here for 95% of my life, is extremely predictable as tradition is the quick sand that we walk in daily. I had already walked on the same paths on this campus for an entire year and here I was again to do it over for another year. Nothing inspired me to click that shutter. But I decided to force myself to carry my camera around with me, just in case I saw a moment that would be worth capturing. I was in the HAC and noticed these windows with trees and sunlight escaping through them and saw an opportunity. I also think reflections can be very intimate and interesting sometimes. I then took this photo.

Now I am thinking interpretations are much more interesting. A selfie while working out in the HAC with an old Canon AV-1, I think, is not what your were expecting. Maybe reality is stranger than fiction. Or just more original.

Bailey Smith is a sophomore who technically is from Memphis, TN and claims this yet lives in Olive Branch, MS, so technically he is also a liar. He is majoring in History and minoring in Sociology.