The Season of Masks
What are you wearing? Are you delighting in the season?
It’s October and there are porches with pumpkins and hay bales, harvest themes, and happy fall scenes in my neighborhood. There are also houses that are bulking up their front yard with hanging sheets in their trees, setting laser motion detectors on their front lawns, and creating the perfect fright fest for the last day of October. Halloween! Recently I heard a strange sound coming from the front yard when it was raining. Lately my fellow North Texans have been making remarks about how Noah is being invited to their local Home Depots to give them tips on how to make sure they survive the Fall Flood of 2018. I love the rain in many ways, and one of the ironic and funniest things about investigating the noise I heard out my front door was so hilarious. This raucous and grating noise was that of an evil laugh like my Aunt Grandmothers Mom riding her broom with a full moon throwing her head back over and over in a repetitive noise that would give fright to any age. It still didn’t make sense until I realized that my local property dweller near me, also known as my neighbor, had gone all out to create hype for his favorite holiday Halloween. I stepped out on my porch and pin pointed the laugh coming from his direction. I did not note any human being. Just the heavy down pour beating it’s pattern of tin roof sound on the earth already saturated and full.
Motion detectors! Motion detectors! The latest in creative technology to catch you dog walker unawares, had picked up on the large drops of rain and the laugh was non-stop. Hooked up to its energy source it was providing quite a show. I closed the door, smiled and remarked to my wife, “I hope the rain runs the battery down on our neighbors active fright display across the way.”
My anxiety was lessened upon attempting to seek out the source of the cacophony. This is an anecdotal story about something I was able to find as the source of the noise. However I am thinking there are many different sources of noise and meanings of the noise in our world that we wake to on a daily basis. Sometimes the blare of the alarm, sometimes to coffee smell, and sometimes to the weight of the knees of smaller bodies on our beds, and child voices who are indicating the rays of the dawn are indicating their rights to declare with the rooster its time to rise. Sometimes waking to the internal noise of past nightmares and pain. Oh what a fright!
So my title hints at the thoughts I have when anxiety overwhelms and I want to hide, find isolation, or not admit concerns. Masks are real on the 31st and many enjoy altering their dress and form to create Egos of Evil. Goddesses of Power, or Invincible Identities.
Do I alter my visage or self on other days of the year? Do I please people around me to create what I believe is their good and release my own? Do I desire to empty myself and refuse to fill up my belief that I am worthy? Do I think that others around me will see my gauge and poor into me what I need and want? Affirmation, Mercy, Encouragement to keep going. I think these are indicators of lies in me that are easier to believe, than to think that I am empty. I also know that my choices of resources, or places I seek to recharge are not what they seem at times. So I wake again and press on in a hum ho, oh well, must keep spinning way so I might achieve, believe or make the lie true in some form or fashion. Once I stop spinning, I realize how dizzy life is and fall deeper into the depth of isolation forms that appear out of the gloom and sink their talons further.
Bleak, I know.
Coming back to all the questions is so taxing. I see how I am keeping up a curl in my mouth and a tune in my soul, but realize the energy to do so may be waning and slowly fading like a flash light kept on too long in the night to ward off shadows that would invade. Sighing deeply, the thought that maybe I should just let the darkness come closer and allow its cold tentacles to explore my skin and give me a chill like an octopus or stingray passing nearby and reaching out for a taste. The rain starts beating a rhythm. I grow colder.
Any public appearances require finding the new batteries, putting the old ones on recharge, and molding the right facial features on my visage so I can look presentable. I see someone and the mask is on full power. “Hello! So nice to see you!.” Then as they turn away I can relax and feel the muscles go back to their sullen comfort and soggy mess, like a pile of comfort clothes dropped where they were abandoned on the living room floor next to the couch cushion, pillows and sheep skin blanket. It’s such a frustration to me. This on and off. This pasty made up world. This problem with transparency and realness.
I have seen many masks come off in the time that I have been helping people with developing their real self so they can feel more free to remove the fake and be the created God given souls that scream beauty and peace. It’s so glorious at times to see the real selves people hide. At first it’s tentative and fearful like a fawn taking it’s first steps, but then the strength comes and the light increases in the eyes. Brilliant diamonds flaring and flashing in their dark circles. Relief flooding to all corners, a peace passing over that floods the face with calm. No storms reflected in the deep waters of the pools of eyes. Tears puddled below them. Perhaps the tears are the thing that washes their face clean of the masks paint, prosthetic, or glue.
Masking or wearing a lie is so hard, but sometimes I hear and see the effect of wearing it too long. The truth is muddied and bent. The person presenting almost becomes so used to the way they are that to be different, transparent, or real would be admitting to everyone around them that they aren’t really who they have made everyone to believe or think they are. So sad. The waves of guilt following in sobs for years to come about what might have been if they had not believed they needed to hide. I find my mind wandering to all of the masks that never fully came off. The tear puddles I imagine soak the carpet, and warp the wood under the couch. Therapists are comforted by the oddest things at times. It’s actually a little joy in me to think that a person left their stress, problem, or stain behind. I attempt to reflect the pain, state the truth, call out the lies. Over in the corner melting into the rooms decor I like to think there is a pile like cut hair at a barber waiting to be thrown out. Masks of previous clients in my office that have been left behind. I see them in the imaginary corner and hope that the pile grows, hope they don’t return and choose the old mask to be put back on, or find one someone else left and replace their true self with a twisted mouth or sullen brow. A true horror show and empty thought for sure in my mind.
So the rain drained the batteries on the laughter across the street, or maybe shorted out the wire leads. No longer is the fake laughter. Actually I am well aware that I don’t want to take my children to get the mail for fear that they are startled by the sheets in the trees, the fake graves, and the cackles of mania.
What mask would you like to come and drop off? I have time to help you work it through, increase your real self, and find new life. Putting a mask on every day is time consuming and expensive. I can help you live different. Come see me soon so that you have more freedom days than you would if you wait.
May God bless you and keep you.