Masks

In this world of masks
The velvet whisper of
Truth is muffled in
Coarse shadows veiling
The face of life.
Far easier, it is, to hide
Behind a mask than
Abide one’s own truth.
With too many questions,
And too few answers
We march on blindly
And uneasily into
Territories not our
Own; and never to
Be our own.
So much more inviting
It is to be what we
Are not, than to discover
Who we really are.

Sometimes we choose
Our masks, but often
We do not;
Instead placed upon our care-
Worn faces by others
And circumstances,
And never really knowing why.

* * *

And what masks?
Pretense-driven self-
Effacing vices to keep
Out the kind ~ to
Deny feelings, to
Bolster ego and to
Hide our truths from
Others, and from
Ourselves.

Sadness
Pervades the masked
Countenance,
And as much as we
Believe no one sees, the
Opposite is true.
Truth always prevails,
In this world of masks.

***

I wrote this poem several years ago as I was starting down the road to finding my truth.

While stepping out from behind the mask has been, and still is, uncomfortable at times, I’d rather see my self in the mirror than the person others unwittingly created in their own image.

I am more than the survivor I’ve been. It’s my turn to thrive.

The journey continues …


Copyright Aimwell Enterprises 2012

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4 thoughts on “Masks

  1. I collect masks, both existent and imagined… I think this is why. They are so lovely! And so fun to choose from! – So much more difficult to take them off…
    Thank you for sharing.

    • Thank you for your comment, psychevida.

      When we were in Venice, Italy, a few years ago I was amazed at the proliferation of ornately decorated and vividly colourful masks for sale in many of the gift stores. They were very beautiful but I resisted buying one. I’m not really sure why.

      Canadian singer/songwriter, Jann Arden, wrote a meaningful song called “Good Mother” that really speaks to me. One of the lines in it says:

      “Carboard masks of all the people I’ve been,
      Thrown out with all the rusted, tangled, dented goddamn miseries …”

      These are the kinds of masks I’m talking about in my poem. The ones we wear to feel accepted in places we know deep down we do not belong just because we haven’t yet figured out who we are. A number of years ago I reached a point in my life where the weight of the masks I was carrying became too much. With help I’ve been letting them go so I can finally be free to be myself in the world.

      That isn’t to say, though, that if I had an invitation to a masked ball and could don one of those beautiful Venetian masks I’ve seen I wouldn’t take it. That mask is very temporary and easily removed.

      Thanks again for your comment and enjoy your mask collection. 🙂

  2. Masks have always fascinated me and I used to collect them, too. This poem, every line, is a treasure. I especially like this:
    Sometimes we choose
    Our masks, but often
    We do not;
    Instead placed upon our care-
    Worn faces by others
    And circumstances,
    And never really knowing why.

    * * *
    I have always thought of masks as what one choose to use rather than the possibility that the mask was imposed by others, but now that you so beautifully show this, I must agree that, especially as women, we often are veiled in masks of our culture, religion, family, etc. When I walked away from my “comfortable” life in the US, I left behind my masks and other worldly goods. Moving to a foreign country where I knew no one, gave me an opportunity to create a new persona. I have enjoyed this and do it will careful abandon! 🙂 Your poetry rings a bell in my soul. hugs, pat

    • I’m so glad you’re able to grasp the spirit of this poem. Self-awareness is the only way to cast off the masks and reveal our truth. It’s a labour of love and can be arduous, but speaking as one who’s been travelling that road for a while now I would not trade this journey for anything. Finally I’m able to come from behind the shadow of the masks I bore and be myself. This, in my humble opinion, is the greatest gift we can give ourselves because that means we can then be authentic, learn to love ourselves for who we really are and then share that grounded, content and peace-filled person with the world. In my experience, real love emanates from authenticity. That’s a lesson it took a long time for me to learn. Thanks again for your comments and insight. Be well …

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