Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Drop the Mask

No one is outside the maze of human behavior looking in.

Dana Bate
Hello Rose
We are all invited to the huge masquerade of human life. Some of us are wearing masks and some of us are not. Those of us who don't don the disguises of the masses, the artists of the world, and specifically the writers, are given the task of judging the faces, the facades, that they see.

Two important questions must be asked. The first is who is behind the mask and the second is why did the person behind the mask choose that particular mask to wear? The great writers do this with ease and appreciation. Like the ever changing figures in a life drawing class hardly anything is more complex than the human being. But the writer must be careful to observe and store vital information about the person whose mask he his trying to peer behind. The pretender will always give himself or herself away in the end. In fact, if they are serious pretenders they probably want to be found out because only an excellent observer can do it. One who deserves their respect. Unfortunately the seeker for truth frequently ends up being so disgusted with the pretensions of the masquerader there is no mutual respect. Some people's masquerades are transparent though they don't think so.

The observer of life must also remember that he too wears a mask even though the mask may be in fact his own face.

"Trust a few" Shakespeare wrote. How do we know who we can trust? We can trust those who are worthy of our trust> But how do we judge worthiness? Only time and careful observation can tell. We can trust those who have danced through enough of life's ballrooms to have learned honesty.

The pretentious, the devious, the duplicitous are those we learn not to trust and that knowledge of others can only come through careful observation as we do our own dancing in the maze. Those who are not what they say they are or what they think they are are the greatest pretenders on the dance floor. They are the clay of novels and short stories for the writer to sink his typing fingers into. Dishonesty reveals itself eventually, often to the writer before iit's revealed to the pretender, and by revealing itself reveals the truth and, for one observer, the mask comes off..

DB - The Vagabond
Never Give Up


Jon said...

Life is definitely a carnival of the absurd and the masks that are worn only serve to contribute to the confusion and chaos.
It is easy to wear a variety of masks, but difficult to remove them. It's ofen a great disappointment to discover who really exists behind the masks.......

(I'm hoping that perhaps this makes some sense.....)

Jon said...

Sorry for any typos in my previous comment (that always happens when I type quickly)
I'm admittedly guilty of wearing my own variety of masks. Sometimes it's the only way to survive.