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National Literary Award 2015 - Národná literárna cena 2015
Tomáš Pospíšil, žiak z triedy Ravens, sa 23. januára zúčastnil v Prahe na odovzdávaní cien za príspevky do súťaže mladých spisovateľov ČR a SR na tému ZRKADLÁ. Jeho ocenený príspevok si môžete prečítať.
On January 23rd Tomas Pospisil, a student in Ravens, was invited to Prague as a
finalist to attend the 8th annual awards ceremony for the National Literary
Award for Young Writers, a writing competition for non-native speakers of
English in the Czech and Slovak Republics. This year's theme was "Mirrors,"
and Tomas placed 4th. Feel free to read his entry.
The Shrouded Mirror
How would you describe a mirror? As a sheet of narr ow glass on a speck-less wall in your bathroom? Is it a tool which lets us l ook upon our dressed bodies and judge ourselves, if we look good enough to walk amidst present society? A tool which helps us to painstakingly analyze our fa ces and blank out every imperfection, because only then will we be truly co nfident in ourselves? Masses of people around the globe measure themselve s every second, no matter how rich or poor they are. They take a look at their skin and the sleekness of their suit throughout their whole life , neglecting the unimportance of a perfect visage. Crawling through life, carryin g the weight of their doubts in an invisible stone hooked on a chain around their n ecks, realizing the severity of their mistake only upon drawing their last breat h and leaving this world, freed of anxieties.
Yet this is not how it has to be. Erase your doubts and shroud those mirrors with a cloth so dark that even the smallest beam of light won't pass through and reflect itself on the mirror again. Instead, fi nd the mirror which was already shrouded. Covered in a coat of thick dust, piled on a blanket from days of old, left to rot on the loft of your former parent's hou se. Blow out the dust if you dare, and reveal the mirror which was considered no t worthy to project the beauties and wrongs of this world anymore. Admire i ts glamour for a while and then look into the heart of it, for the older it mi ght be, the more memories it might carry. Let the lifelong memories from your ag ed mirror surround you like a bubble and then soak deep into your soul.
Relive the day when you were just an innocent littl e child, gaping tensely at your parents as they brought this old mirror into y our household. As they put it onto the ground, you decided to investigate. At fir st you were hesitant, yet your curiosity was stronger. You slowly stepped in front of it and something magical occurred. A little, shiny figure emerged in front of you. You smiled and waved at it, it smiled and waved at you simultaneou sly. Astonished, you jumped from happiness, showing off to the whole wor ld how glad you were because you had just met a new marvelous friend. It jumped as well, showing off its enjoyment. You decided to touch it. Both of you poked fingers at each other slowly. Yet when their tips touched each othe r, you felt cold instead of warmth, the warmth so typical of other human beings. Withdrawing, you realized something was not right. It came slowly at first, the truth was hard to comprehend, but in the end you grasped it. That str aight, glossy person is you. Touching your face, you started to examine yourself . Why, you have just seen yourself for the first time in your life!
Nevertheless, the clock of life continues to move f orward and as it rushes through your happy moments, it does not slow down d uring the dire ones. Therefore you are, standing before that same mirror again. Taller and older, you face yourself once more. Wearing a school unifo rm, you are enthusiastic and eager, as well as nervous and fearful. It was l ike the blink of an eye though, and you are back home, standing in front of the mir ror again. Puzzled, you fear, you fear because life has just opened up before you and you do not know what traps it has in store for you. Still, as you grow o lder, life becomes darker and more emotional. You are not a child anymore, but yo u are not a grown-up yet. You spent a great deal of time with your faithful m irror. Staring into it, thinking about your life, about its meaning, your meaning in the world, in the universe. Why do people abhor each other so much? Why do peop le dislike you and you dislike them? However, your thoughts are constantly interrupted by the image of a single person. The person who can fill up your life with warm light and certainty only by smiling at you, but can also exti nguish every single beacon of hope inside you with just one word, like an emotion less herald of shadow, made out of pure, constantly swirling darkness, jab bing its black dagger in your back, crippling your spine. You can't comprehend ho w it is possible that you are so obsessed with just one human being. Why do you i nspect your body in the mirror so intensively, only because you hope this p erson will find physical perfection sensual. Still, all these burdens have t o confront the fact that you have to face real-life problems and learn to take c are of yourself henceforth. In the end, your parents won't be here forever.
Dark times always pass though, and joys of life eme rge, as the sun rises up after the storm ceases. You can't even orientate, life is so fast and your mirror helps you to keep the pace. At one moment you are wrappin g your mirror because you are taking it with you to foreign lands, in pur suit of education and a career, wishing good luck as a farewell to the people who s haped your best memories. People who accompanied you your whole life, and if they didn't, you felt as if they did, realizing that you may never see their fa ces again. It seems that you didn't even have time to settle down in your new ho me, and you are already standing in front of the mirror in your new, ironed suit, ready to prove yourself in the world of business and stress. Yet, you barel y got a handle of your new life's reins and you found yourself under the stars , seated behind a table with a person whom you find very charming, like you once t hought of another individual. Sipping champagne, exchanging warm smil es and glancing at each other's eyes through the gentle light of a candle. Your life goes on like a gentle autumn breeze and soon enough, you are standing in front of the mirror again, preparing for your wedding day. You barely got used to your new ring, and you are standing before the mirror with a miracle in yo ur hands, your newborn child, covered in a snow-white blanket.
You remember it as if it was a few days ago. Purcha sing a new house for your family, teaching your child the skills of walking a nd speaking. Explaining to your offspring that education is one of the most signifi cant things in life and it should not be afraid to walk without its parent's g uiding hand and create its own paths in life. You recall these days with tears in your eyes. Sun is just a prelude to the storm, light illuminated your trail of life for a long time and darkness was inevitable.
Your child grew up into an adult and it didn't take long to find out that you don't share the same views on how life should be tr eated. Dark clouds eclipsed yours and your partner's mind. Doubts about failing to prepare your child for life, disbelieving in yourself and even questioning your marriage. Yet, you successfully overcome these dark thoughts. Your par tner however, had troubles with it. Illness infected the body and min d of your life partner. You hoped, you prayed, you begged and you cried, but ev entually, you faced yourself in that smeared, old mirror once more. Fee ble in body, weak in spirit, your face wrinkled, full of hate, hate that only le d to despair. You take a close look at the image in the mirror, just a shadow of y our former self, all in black, prepared for the funeral. Before you depart however , to say one last goodbye to your partner, you remove your mirror from the wa ll. You take the snowy blanket which once carried your child, now only a g rey, null rag, and you throw it onto the mirror, determined that it should not r eflect this miserable world anymore.
Yet, you stand before it again, here and now. Reliv ing the memories, reanimating your whole life. You can see that littl e youngling you once were, staring confusingly at the figure which looked just like you, but instead of a young and healthy child, full of life, there's only an old, worn-out shadow. Staring deeply into the dusty, rotten mirror, you s ee all the lifelong hate which has been stored inside you bursting from your body, followed by your doubts and fears. All these are repelled, however, because you've still got those old, great memories. Memories of your youth, of your fam ily, of your friends and of your love. In the end, there can be no shadow witho ut a light. Panting heavily, you lay aside your cane and sit down on a chair beh ind you. Feeling a strange taste in your mouth, you close your eyes, exhausted , yet feeling relieved of all anxieties. At last, as this mirror accompanied you on your boundless voyages through life, so it does stand vigil over you, as y ou peacefully draw your last breath in serenity.
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