2013-12-21

Life as a masquerade

Several months ago I began considering the notion of a mask.  It's something someone wears to look different than they really are.

I was in a costume shop just before Halloween, looking at masks on the wall.  It dawned on me that some seemed simple, some seemed complex, some appeared extravagant, some appeared modest, some looked scary, some looked frightened, some covered up more of the wearer's face, some left more of the wearer exposed, some had funny expressions, and still others looked dour.  In effect, these masks reflected a wide range of human emotion and characteristics.  I bet you've thought of this on some level before, haven't you?

from miserable zombie ...
Is it only at Mardi Gras (aka Carnival) or Halloween that people choose to wear masks?  Only special occasions?  Probably not.  If those masks at the costume shop portray different aspects of humanity (even in its sometimes monstrous incarnations), and if we choose to show up to the party wearing one mask or another, depending on how we feel or what image of ourselves we wish to present to the attendees, isn't this a dramatic parallel to the way we express some facet of our human identity in any given situation?

... to joyful woodland fairy
In the 1994 movie The Mask, Jim Carrey played a man who discovered a mask that, when worn, transformed him into a mischievous, if not wild, cartoon character.  I've noticed in donning masks before that I feel different when I put on zombie makeup versus a playful wardrobe or a magical elfin mask.

What masks are readily available in your personal costume shop that you access on a daily basis?  When do you put your favorite one on?  When do you choose to wear your least favorite?  What does it look and feel like when you wear it?  Who is your audience or at the party you attend? What masks are people around you wearing?  Can you see them for who they are or do you only respond to the masks you see?

If you're searching for a new mask that better or more accurately reflects the person you want to be in your world and you could use some feedback, you're welcome to contact me to see how we could identify the one you feel is right for you now.