Everyone has this projection, this mask, this barrier that protects them from the world outside of their comfort zone. Beyond the reach or scope of others whose walls are a lot thinner, the people who peek over the parapet and extend an outstretched hand into the void often do so at great strain.
Today, this week, over the last couple of months, I've slowly been reaching farther into the unknown. It's a place that sends shivers tingling and coursing up my spine and into every fibre of my skin. My senses are amplified, I'm on edge and when I see colour I see Picasso. Shapes take on new forms, their curves and trellises buckle under the pressure of the world and how I view it. Sounds are sharper and pierce my ear canals as if the birds have perched upon my shoulder and they sing to me, almost as if to make me smile, to make me like her.
The Mona Lisa is subject to so much debate, by commoners, aesthetes and all in between, but where is she looking? Is she really smiling? Was Da Vinci painting a version of himself, a way to mask his strife with something so beautiful people would be distracted from the truth behind those lips, those eyes?
Everything we create is an embodiment of who we are, where we've been, what we've seen, the world we've touched both literally and metaphorically. Our imprint lies on the world, forever changed by our being here and interacting with it. And in my deepest moments, where my thoughts are the road runner and wily coyote locked in a battle to out-do each other, the rest of me moves at a glacial pace. These two mindsets have two faces; one face smiles, laughs freely, cries tears of joy and sadness at silly films and things like DIY:SOS. The other face?
Devoid of expression, care, empathy and love.
I so wish I could choose which face I wear each day, and I know a lot of people will say that you can, and you should focus on everything else and it'll be okay. But when you struggle to get out of bed, when you forget to nourish your body with love and due care, it's all you can do to keep one mask up, let alone try and make one stick when it just keeps slipping. To try and explain this is to try and explain depression, fragility, vulnerability and sadness. Fear, shame, embarrassment and discomfort. Eyes are the window to the soul, right? When you look in the mirror, what do you see in your own eyes? How do you feel about yourself? Which filter are you using today?
I for one am fed up with both of my masks. I wish I could just have me, love myself and be comfortable with it. I'll keep trying, and everyday it gets easier by a snail's breath (and a snail's pace), but that's okay. Remember, it's all about progress, not perfection.