Source: Zoku Owarimonogatari Vol. 2 (Mar 27, 2019)
Written by NISIOISIN
“People use mirrors to adjust their appearance. But if you really think about it, Araragi-senpai, the image you see is that of your past self. After all, for light to be reflected, it has to bounce from you to the mirror, then back to you—which invariably produces a time lag.”
As astonishing as it was, I understood what Ogi meant. Light moves at, well, the speed of light, obviously. Bearing that velocity in mind, it would take more than zero seconds for light to travel a distance of even just a few dozen centimeters. Therefore, what a mirror reflects is the you from zero-point-zero-zero-zero-zero-zero-zero-something milliseconds ago.
“Looking into a mirror is like looking into the past—essentially, you’re looking backward. To put it nicely, when you’re styling your hair in front of a mirror, all you’re doing is embellishing a memory. Though I wouldn’t necessarily call it a bad thing, that outlook isn’t very future-oriented, is it.”
“Ogi. Are you saying we have to turn away from the mirror—until it’s out of sight—in order to live a positive, forward-looking life? Even so, isn’t every visible object a reflection of light? Seems to me like we’re all trapped in a world of the past.”
“In that case, stop looking at reflections of light and start looking at sources of light. Unfiltered light.”
“Unfiltered light? Are you telling me to stare directly at the blazing sun in the sky? So instead of looking forward, I should—”
“Look upward, yes. Being future-oriented means climbing the social ladder, don’t you agree? Because once you graduate from Naoetsu High School, Araragi-senpai, you’ll never again be trapped in the past—a past that resembles me.”
“Actually, you wouldn’t see the sun if you looked up. All you’d see is the light fixture in the bathroom. What you should really do is look up to yourself.”
Ogi shrugged her shoulders and smiled, like an image that had come to life.
Thanks to maxdefolsch for the raws.