The little mirrors pivot in place to follow my motion as I walk across the room, each one reflecting me on a different background. There’s me in the Alps, me on the Santa Monica Pier, me in Tokyo… I’m different in all of the mirrors, but somehow unmistakably me. Sometimes I’m female, other times male. In a few cases I’m human.
“Oh, just pick one,” my brother says, sounding bored.
“But how do I know which one needs me most?”
Clearly, he doesn’t. But I do. Choosing an incarnation means ignoring all the other possibilities. If I looked at them just as choices in vacation, like my brother does, then selection by whim would be reasonable. But I see it as my job, as part of protecting Father’s cosmos.
My gaze goes to a fire burning through a forest; I could go there, and save countless lives by putting out the flames. But then I see a see a small child who looks to be dying of disease; if I went to him, I could cure him and anyone else in his village with the malady. I don’t allow myself more than a glance at the mirror that shows my beloved; going to her would be the height of selfishness, and neither of us would forgive me for that.
Every second I spend deciding is another second I’m not stopping pain.
I draw a deep breath, reach out, and touch the plagued child.
As I zip through the ether into my new body, I spend a thought on my beloved. Maybe one day, there will be no disease or disaster. And then, at long last, hers will be the mirror I touch.