Like the sea, the broken mirror pieces reflect aspects of who we are. On a nice day, we can be chilled and relaxed, having fun in a bathing suit with sun tan lotion on. On a terribly rocky boat, we are prone to getting sick and cursing the one who talked you into going out without checking the weather first. After a life changing event, we can become someone failing to hold themselves or others together. Which aspect is the real you? Which is the real sea? They all are. And we are as transient as the sea's moods.
Yes, this fits into the category of sentimental, memorial and mourning art combined. The mirror's name comes from the fact that the sea has taken so much, especially from those of us who have lived on the southern coast (and now perhaps the northeastern part, too).
The sea didn't take my house in Katrina, but it took my Dad's. No one realizes that sometimes its not the houses that get demolished, but the beliefs about who you were and what is dependable get washed away.
I'd always played the super-responsible and care-taking role, but I couldn't any more. I broke. Seeing so much suffering day in and day out, plus old memories of childhood being dug up had taken its toll. Truth told, I was dealing with PTSD. No one tells you that you don't have to be in a war to get that or that the things you do to cope with PTSD can compound it and make it worse. Things like: Having to tell my elderly father that I wasn't emotionally capable at the time of helping him rebuild. He was on his own and that was painful to see.
God does find a way because a church group helped him put his house back together again and he loved their company. That was 2005. Next March, a week to the day after my 33rd birthday, he passed away without ever getting out of the FEMA trailer and into his "new" house. That was hard enough, but he died with the belief that I didn't help him because I didn't love him. A bit of time later, the sea took the ashes of my father, too.
But the sea, too, gives back. After the mess that Katrina was, both inside and outside my head, I was given the breath of freedom in a thought. "I had stayed in an uncomfortable place my whole life for other people and now was the time to get out of it". We had a baby son who I didn't want to grow up as skeeter-food or have to deal with the insecurity of possibly having his parents, house or toys blown away. Stephen was happy with the idea, too, because he was tired of the heat, bugs and hurricanes that is the Mississippi Gulf Coast. We packed up and moved our conglomerative collections to Washington state. (more below the next picture)
The mirror's meaning: Its a pulling together of the various parts of my life to tell a cohesive story, a cohesive person. To leave out or deny one would take away from the beauty, complexity, depth and intricacy of the person AND the composition. Isn't that true for everyone?