Fads and trends are ever-changing and thank goodness for that!

There is one fad I'm happy to see little of these days: mirrored sunglasses.

It was difficult to maintain a conversation with someone wearing them. We communicate with our voices, but more so with our bodies and with our eyes.

When I have attempted to converse with someone in mirrored sunglasses, I wonder how they are receiving my comments or if they are listening at all. They could be napping or perusing the scenery.

I can't always interpret what a person is thinking when I see their eyes, but I am able to read how they may feel about my comments, or if they are listening.

There is much "salt" in the adage, "The eyes are the windows to the soul."

In addition to being uncomfortable when I am unsure if I am being listened to or understood; I have realized there may be another reason mirrored sunglasses bother me. I recall that I didn't like watching myself speaking to someone, coming upon a mirror or a pane of glass and seeing myself at less than my best.

The message from our pastor Craig Fraley on June 8, entitled "Living with integrity, matters," may have shed light on why I don't wish to watch myself speaking or talking. Fraley is doing a 10-week series on "Living God's Way." On June 8, his focus was on integrity, being certain one's actions align with one's testimony.

Perhaps I don't like watching myself speak because it leads to self-reflection. Not that I would purposefully be dishonest, but it is not entirely unlikely that I may not be totally candid involving a given subject.

Sometimes it is to protect whomever is part of a given scenario by keeping all names out of the conversation.

Sometimes I soften what I am saying so as not to offend anyone, including the one to whom I'm speaking. Maybe seeing myself during a conversation creates more soul-searching than I want to experience at a given moment.

I wrote this poem in response to Craig's message on integrity:

Does the mirror

betray your heart?

Does it replicate

that which is seen

reflected in the eyes,

the lenses,

of those about you?

Do your words attempt

a cloud cover, a fog,

to blur the truth?

Be aware

that which is masked

by fog is there,

nonetheless.

A statement made by a former First Christian Church pastor, Jim Simpson, says I'm not alone in my concern over integrity.

He said, "When a young preacher makes an old preacher squirm in his seat, he's doing a good job."

No matter how honest and true someone, is trying to be, it is still possible to slip and not stay true to oneself. Seeing oneself in a mirror can be disconcerting, uncomfortable, and convicting. I hope these occurrences will afford me growth toward the integrity I wish to uphold.

Virginia Salter of Hermiston is a substitute teacher for Hermiston School District. Readers may e-mail her at poetlaureate@oregontrail.net.

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