As kids, we may get our first glimpse of a mask from a clown, or Santa. And it is unusual, and still is. A mask never changes, it hides an identity, it deceives and it is used to bring about change and diversity.
‘Larry the Cable Guy’s’ joke went . . . What’s true about a divorce in Alabama and a hurricane in Alabama? Someone’s losing a trailer.
It seems . . . What true if someone is wearing a mask or even assumes he is wearing a mask? Someone’s getting deceived. A mask is a falsehood, but a falsehood with teeth.
That would almost be the end of the discussion if it weren’t for the fact that we all wear masks. And that uncovers this thought . . . a mask is a covering, but it is, at the same time, an unveiling. It conceals and brings things about, simultaneously. Some are visible, many invisible. It prevents – and – enables!
There are masquerade parties where folks where folks wear another tangible variety of mask over the one they already have on! For whom is the mask worn!? There are inherent levels of ambiguity, and this is just the surface.
What if something is shown on the mask, like a Bible verse . . .
Or if the mask was mirrored, or a part of the human anatomy were imprinted on it? What would that mean to the wearer of the mask – or to the viewer? Or, how would you start to make sense of a mask that is mirrored on the inside? Or a mask that is stretched or compressed?
There is the concept of someone else making your mask. Applying layers of decoupage or something similar and letting it dry. And then ponder the potency of the unveiling, when YOUR mask comes OFF. You see the inside of it, your likeness, your inverse.
What would it mean to you if your mask was dropped and it broke into pieces?
And there is the idea of hiding ourselves from the other senses; sound, smell, taste, touch. Perfume would be a great example. Writing even has many shared qualities with the mask. The author conceals and expands, at least sometimes.
Is a mask just deception in an attempt to make certain things better, more palatable or more novel?
Which begets the question, ‘If your mask gets stolen, is that a good thing, or a bad thing?’