Sunday, May 20, 2007

#60 - Masks

"Masks. Literal: making or wearing masks for Halloween, Carnival, Mardi Gras, the theater, any other masky occasion. Or, you know, psychological: a mask you wear, that you hide behind; the face you present the world, or that you present just to one person."

Michelle; Oct. 1972

The dictionary gives the derivation of the word person as from; the mask an actor wears.

Oscar Wilde is credited with the quote: "man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask and he will tell you the truth."

I am not just one person, but a composite. Being multidimensional, I wear many faces or "masks" if you will. No one mask is the whole me. What does the real me look like? I'm not sure that I can tell you. Not because I don't want to, but because I'm not sure I can give an honest description of who I am.

My Aunt Nellie used to say; "you're the sum of three things; how you see yourself, how others see you and who you really are." It's the part about how others see you where the mask comes in.
If you ask people from varied avenues of my life to describe me, you're liable to get 10 divergent pictures. So which is the real me?
The actor/entertainer?

The dreamer?

The Anesthetist (the masked man behind the mask)?

The grandpa?

The writer/poet?

The arguer?

The athlete?

The veteran?

The lover?

The friend?

The blogger?

Well you get the idea...;-)

Sometimes I wear a macho mask to hide my fears. Other times, I put on my mask of fear to elicit your compassion. My happy face relaxes you and makes you comfortable with me. Often my ego is displayed, occasionally my id, and almost never my superego.

Who am I? I won't tell you. I'm afraid to tell you!

You choose the one you like.

We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be.

[info][add][mail]Kurt Vonnegut, Mother Night



Blogger Becca said...

Great post, Rel. I agree that many times our "masks" are different parts of our persona. Lucky you to have so many to choose from :)

2:12 PM  
Blogger ren powell said...

A great post- your remarks as resonating as Wilde's and Vonnegut's.

Was thinking about the Anesthesiologist - lead me to thinking anyway of the executioner. The masks that is more like armor and as much about blocking things out.

3:36 PM  
Blogger Carole Burant said...

I've never really thought of it but you're right, we do have many masks that we wear! Rel, I can't see any of the pictures, all that shows are the dreaded red x. Hope you're having a wonderful Sunday my friend!! xox

4:25 PM  
Blogger Regina said...

I can see some of your pictures, Rel- I like the grandpa one the best!

4:32 PM  
Blogger Lucy said...

Wow, Rem THIS is what I wish I would have said! YOu conveyed my feelings so well, without sounding crazy like i think i did! haha I LOVe how you wrote this and all your great pics! ( also Love what Aunt Nellie said!) :)

4:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm pondering my many masks now, wondering who am I? :) Great post, Rel!

5:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think for me, the Rel mask I like the best is the one of friend. The friend who reached out to a silly girl and accepted her for who she was.

Thanks :)



5:48 PM  
Blogger paris parfait said...

We are all so complicated, with many facets to our personality. Of course it depends on the time, place, circumstances and company how we behave. But perhaps that's what makes life so interesting. If we always behaved the same, how dull would that be? I have a friend who's been taking Prozac for many years and her real personality has disappeared somewhere behind that prescription-drug haze. She's constantly on some strange even keel and reacts to nearly every situation in the same manner. I miss my friend and can't understand why she's hiding her real self. It started when her father died, but that was 14 years ago! Now she has a nice life, so I can't understand what she's afraid to face and keeps masking her emotions.

5:48 PM  
Blogger Clockworkchris said...

Wow-Paris made me think in that comment-I've been on prozac for some time now-about 10 years or maybe more. Ouch!
Well Rel, I absolutely adore the quote you end with from Vonnegut and the pictures you showed throughout the post of some of your masks. I love the description you give at the beginning about what your aunt said. That is the God-honest truth isn't it. It is going into my new poem-varied a bit-but I've been taught that in psychology classes many times. And "I'm not sure I can give an honest description of who I am." You always have the right words. Great post!

7:11 PM  
Blogger Left-handed Trees... said...

This was a fascinating post to me...I am very interested in that "how one is viewed" versus "how one views the self". It is actually a part of the underground of my manuscript I'm working on. Thanks for presenting more thoughts.

7:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for visiting.
I love the photolog.
You make a handsome Lone Ranger :)
Have a fabulous week.

8:45 PM  
Blogger Catch said...

Ill tell you one thing look pretty darned good in the Lone Ranger mask! Yahoooo Silver...giddy up!!

11:42 PM  
Blogger gautami tripathy said...

Great post, great pictures. I like the veteran best...

Good quotes too. Your posts are always so enjoyable. Thanks.

12:30 AM  
Blogger Crafty Green Poet said...

Interesting post, I reckon though if what people are seeing is the real you, even if its only bits of the real you, then its not really a mask. We mostly are multidimensional and not all the sides of us can show themselves with everyone.

5:02 AM  
Blogger Rowan said...

This is a really interesting post and you are so right - all of us wear several masks according to who we are with, the situation we are in or even sometimes just a reaction to the kind of day we are having. I know that there are quite a few Rowan's inside me, not all of them sweet and smiling:)
Oh! Happy first blogiversary to you and here's to many more!

6:35 AM  
Blogger Churlita said...

Nice post. I loved all the photos. I think it's hard to ever get a handle on who we really are.

9:56 AM  
Blogger Sandra.if said...

"Only those with whom we share a deep abiding love with can lift the mask."
(you said that)I think that is very true and beautiful...

10:38 AM  
Blogger paris parfait said...

Rel, just to clarify the comment I made here about my friend, as I've had two emails today with completely different interpretations:

I was referring to my friend taking Prozac for 14 years, a woman who has never been diagnosed with any form of mental illness. She began taking it due to depression following her father's death and continues taking it to this day, even though her life is absolutely fine and indeed, privileged. In the process of taking this drug she doesn't need, her personality has been suppressed and she's turned into someone I don't recognise.

I also have some friends who are bi-polar and must take medication every day of their lives. They need this medication to function and taking it has made important differences for them and for their loved ones, friends and colleagues.
I know of many instances where prescription drugs have helped people suffering from anger management issues or something similar. And I know of instances where mothers suffering from post-partum depression have been helped by mood elevating drugs. So I don't think prescription drugs when needed are a bad thing! I do think it's wrong that they are prescribed when they're not needed.

1:18 PM  
Blogger Carole Burant said...

Yeaaaah I can see the pictures now:-) I just had to come back and wish you a Happy One Year Blogiversary my friend!! I knew you could do it:-) xox

6:36 PM  
Blogger Pear tree cottage! said...

Hello Remiman, another great post! of yours. always nice to take something away from a bloggers post to think about and you always do that for me! ((smiles))

"which one is you?" I believe in order to be whole you have to be them all, it's just knowing, as I am sure you do which one to show the world at any given time.

Happy blogger birthday to you - while we do not blog back and forth often I hold you in high regard my friend and it is an honour to know you.

9:02 PM  
Blogger Lee said...

We're all guilty of wearing a mask at times. I know I am, anyhow! Mostly I do try to be myself and can only hide behind a mask for so long. Sometimes masks are necessary.

9:51 PM  
Blogger sundaycynce said...

I loved the interposition (is that the right word? is there such a word?) of the pictures and the phrases or paragraphs. Very unique. Somewhat revealing but not too much.

Which you do I like? The one who visits my blog regularly and posts sincere and thoughtful comments. Thank you. I think maybe I often see the real you there.

3:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's really interesting to think about how the different "actors" in our minds step forward and step back. You are ALL of those things and probably more, at different times. It's really fascinting, this being human. ;)

This was such a great, thought provoking post and the pictures were perfect.

9:32 PM  
Blogger Marcia (MeeAugraphie) said...

You are all and more. . . . and we are lucky for the glimpses we get. Masks are nothing more than facets of our true personalities - humans are complicated and I love them!

1:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your post really gets to the heart of the complexity of being human. Wow---we couldn't be uni-dimensional if we tried!

You make a really good point for accepting and enjoying our many masks.

P.S. Those quotations from Wilde and Vonnegut are AMAZING!

1:05 AM  
Blogger Jerri said...

Fantastic post, rel. Really. Loved the pictures, loved the musings.

You gave me lots to reflect upon. Thanks.

12:59 PM  

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