The Inner Mirror


© Durga Yael Bernhard

My second child was a year old when I created The Inner Mirror – a whole series of prints made from a single linoleum block.  The image I carved, of a while geometric figure inside a black one, was partly inspired by Inuit art from the Arctic.  This particular version is my favorite.  The black shape of the outer figure is the linoleum block print.  After the ink dried, I painted on top of the print in gouache paint.

The Inner Mirror is meant to picture two things: First, the way our children mirror back to us our own inner child, our innocence, the pure soul with which we each began.  Notice the DNA-like earthy coils inside both figures, symbolizing their shared genetic attributes.  The rest of the pattern that covers their skin is both similar in its diagonal marks, and different, in terms of color.  Even the differences between parents and children have an uncanny way of being similar.

Second, the image represents the shadow-self – that which is hidden, repressed, secret or not yet manifest within ourselves.  Here lie our incipient, untapped potentials.  This inner self mirrors our unconscious, and has the power to both inspire and delude us.  What wells up within us is both creative and destructive; it’s our job to know the difference.

Whether shining though our own selves or reflected in our children, it would be easier to stay conscious of all this if we had an actual mirror that we could hold up to our inner selves like a looking glass.

But in the absence of such a magic mirror, it’s helpful to have an image as a reminder.

Wishing you a very good week.

D Yael Bernhard
Author / Illustrator of:
LOVE IS – a unique crossover book for all ages
THE LIFE OF AN OLIVEExplore the life of a 2000-year-old olive tree
JUST LIKE ME, CLIMBING A TREE: Exploring Trees Around the World
NEVER SAY A MEAN WORD AGAIN – A Publisher’s Weekly Starred Review;
winner of the Sydney Taylor Award and National Jewish Book Council Award
THE DREIDEL THAT WOULDN’T SPIN – A Toyshop Tale of Hanukkah
WHILE YOU ARE SLEEPING – A Children’s Book Council Notable Book
A RIDE ON MOTHER’S BACK – An American Bookseller Assoc. Pick of the List
– and more!
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