The Daily Masquerade
Each morning, when I wake up to
The sparrows’ serenade
I knit the stark of light and dark
For the masquerade
Some day as I walk out the door
I’m lit with painted smiles
Another, with my lashes curled
Its all coy wiles and guiles.
One day I will attempt to be
Cheery despite the cold,
Pretend to be a child for you
When really, wrinkled, old..
Or happiness, for someone’s sake
Rarely, even my own,
But soon enough that mask will slip
The minute I’m alone.
A time I will mellowness yield
To peace, unchecked, uncaught
And let my face reckless emerge
In joy, unmarked, unfraught..
But when storms stir up within
No masks can fully hide
The darkness simmers, glimmers, and
my eyes show what’s inside
Between the real, the ethereal,
The many faces played
Twirled with everyone I know
In this masquerade
I struggle to erase the lie
All said and done we’ve strayed
And life has ceased to be, but
A daily masquerade..
Anyone who’s seen Jim Carrey’s The Mask will remember , “we all wear masks every day, metaphorically speaking”. A surprisingly subtle epiphany, isn’t it? Especially coming from so loud a movie. How come I only noticed it the fifteenth or twentieth time it came on tv?
We all wear masks on a daily basis. A different face for some people, a different tone of voice for some, a different attitude towards yet some more. And no, it’s not hypocrisy or being double faced. God, those are altogether separate things. Our masks, yours and mine, are part of of the survival strategy on a daily basis.
We’re different people at home and at work. With acquaintances and friends. Heck, sometimes we’re different people alone and in company. To think of it, we’re such an almost unnecessarily complicated species!
I mean, this is a mock up of a daily schedule. Get up in the morning as Person one (the base line, since this is usually the real us). Get dressed and leave for work, slipping into Person number two, the you in the crowd.
Reach school/college/work, flip over to Person number three, the professional, detached and clinical you. Work your way through the day. Make it to the evening slot where you enter Person four, with friends, or back to Person one, with family. Cycle complete, sleep and repeat.
Okay so maybe I’m being a little extra critical and cynical today. I’m just noticing though, that we shift through so many different personas during the day. Some of us revel in them, others hide behind them. Batman would say that it’s not who you are, but what you do that defines you. I beg to differ. I think it’s not what you do, but what you do regardless of time, place, or person that defines you. Sure you have to work behind different masks, clinical one moment and compassionate the other, but the thread of connectivity, of you behind both of them, will define you, make you stand out as hey, that’s the guy!
Our behavior and our conduct is just as intricately webbed as our interactions. Layer by layer, we build and shed a part of our personality in different places, different times. What we need to realize is the risk of quickly becoming jaded. Character on, character off. Letting our routine define our role instead of us defining our role in that routine. That’s the part of the masquerade we control. In essence, we are who we want to be, despite what we have to be. Just need to step in and grab the reins on that.
So what are you waiting for? Are you going to stand in the sidelines when the lead character in your play is you? Will you hide behind a mask and shuffle through apathy every day? Or will you use that inertia to strengthen you, and shine through in every role you play?
Because you can. You can let your unceasing glow illuminate every facet of your day, of who you come in contact with. And you can bask in that radiance, a warmth like no other.
Its your mask, and it’s your masquerade.
Love and light,