Changing Face in the Mirror (Plus a Haiku)

I have been wondering lately who in my family I look like. I think it's changed over time as I have grown and aged. I know that if I put a picture of me at about the age of 4 next to a picture of my MorMor (maternal grandmother) at that age that I looked a whole bunch like her.

Yet when I was in my 20s, I was told that I looked a lot like my paternal great aunt Rose. I had taken a picture of her to be framed and the person taking my order made this comment. So, now I looked like someone on the other side of the family? On the other hand, at some point a few years (or more) later, I looked at the picture in which my MorMor was 4. It is a picture of her immediate family. Her older sister, Edla, was about 17 years older than MorMor. I took a good look and thought that I looked like her. So had I changed back to looking like that side of the family? I used to say I looked like a combination of my great aunt Rose and my great aunt Edla. 

I never, however, thought I looked like my mother. I now see a bit of her when I look in the mirror. I'm not sure why, but I see her when I look at my mouth and chin. Has she been hiding in me this whole time? 

The Buddhists say that everything is ephemeral, and I guess this applies to our looks. Age, life experience, and body condition all show up in our faces. I suppose I could stop looking for who I look like in my family and just see me.

I no longer know,
looking in the mirror,
who looks back at me.

(I didn't mean this Haiku to be about emotions but rather about physicality and how it changes. But, I see that it can be read both ways -- here it is anyway.)


The photograph is by Noah Buscher. I found it on

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