Sunday, January 17, 2010

We Wear the Mask

This past week in class we read a poem that has stuck with me and maybe more than that, haunted me.  It was written in a different age for a different purpose, but for me, in this moment, it is for me -

We Wear the Mask

We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes, -
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
And mouth with myriad subleties.

Why should the world be overwise,
In counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us, while
We wear the mask.

We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries
To thee from tortured souls arise.
We sing, but oh the clay is vile
Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
But let the world dream otherwise,
We wear the mask!
Paul Laurence Dunbar

My mask is wearing thin and I am weary.  Not only of mine but of those I see all around.


Rosie said...

I have often felt that we all wear masks. Women are generally so much more quilty than men. I know that I personally struggle because I feel like everyone else's lives appear to be going perfectly as the person planned. At least that is the way that most people portray themselves. I on the otherhand will actually say that I am a whiner and my children fight like banchis---but not all the time.I am as quilty as the next of wearing the perfect/happy mask. Perhaps the mask is a protector instead of hindererance. Perhaps if on occasion we can put on the mask or the smile we might be able to make it through another difficult day. I would wonder if the goal in life is to get to where we don't feel like we need the mask. Perhaps we can one day get to where we are comfortable enough in our own skin and our own minds that we don't have to pull the mask out.

That is the million dollar question that therapists have been paid for years---how do we get to where we are comfortable?

abby's photo shoppe said...

I love this post. You are AWESOME. I hope to one day be much much closer geographically... to my dear sweet awesome Mia. Have a great day.
Abba and fam

Tenille said...

It was so fun sleigh ridding!!! Im glad you came. We kicked butt!