Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror | 2015 Artist Writer Mashup

Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror | 2015 Artist Writer Mashup

Lamplighter’s 2015 Artist Writer Mashup is featuring the illustrations of New Jersey artist Lauren Clarke. Each participating writer is paired with an illustration. Throughout the project, writers are given a series of prompts, contemplations, and questions. Each participating writer is to compose some work of fiction, non-fiction, or poetry inspired by the illustration. Here is today’s prompt:

Consider that the way we interpret art is highly personal. Other than interacting with others in the project, our assumptions about the illustrations are mostly unprompted, or are at least driven by our own values and opinions. This leads us to realize our interpretation of the art is highly reflective of our own self, even if it’s distorted and not clearly recognizable.

  • What are your feelings about the illustration? What drives these feelings?
  • Can you see yourself in the illustration?
  • Do you find yourself in your writing too?
  • Try injecting yourself into your writing and amplify the aspects of you that already exist in it.

Remember to blog and share your post in the comments below!


Prologue: I am a day late. I am short. I am not a dollar short.



The illustration lulls me into a sense of a balanced world; masculine/feminine, man/nature, light/dark, work/play – the polarities of this world ‘mastered.’

The entire picture’s patterning herald acceptance of all sides to a story, all sides to a culture, a human, a flower – acceptance of self in a now rectangular world, four sided. Or is the illustration introducing a magical eight sided world?

The drawn frame, perfectly one inch margin, challenges me – I feel contained, double blankets cocooning safety, security. Hope drifts; freestyles across the likenesses, the circular sun-shaped Gerber daisy-headed man in a vertical black suit and tie. The matching crisp white dress shirt, a man can proudly wear a dress in this sketched world – all is well.

Is all well? Or is it sketchy?

Same penciled margin, handcrafted mat, magically flies, guides my feelings like a heat thermal for turkey vultures, hawks, predators – floating, hovering, and taunting emotional restraint, physical restraint.


I despise restrictions, life in a box, no matter the shape rectangular, square, hat box, shoe box, restlessness wakes up my wander lusting muscles, my mental meandering and leaves me feeling rather like an injured wolf refused for reintroduction into the wild, forever trapped in unnatural surroundings. I have been restricted (and then some) by my disease, stuck in stuck with only stuck in my head. Disability makes me slow down, excellent for observation, for freedom? Not so much.

I am the picture and the picture is me.

I am my writing and my writing is me.

I am the walrus and the walrus is me.

Separating my ‘hopefulness, my happily ever after’ with my ‘what if/yeah but/get me the fuck outta here’ is impossible –

Acceptance and balance and mastery required.

‘Better learn balance. Balance is key. Balance good, karate good. Everything good. Balance bad, better pack up, go home. Understand?’*

Karate Kid; Mr. Miyagi lesson for all.


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