Costumes and Masks

There is nothing that gives more assurance than a mask.  ~ Colette

Jack was back! Our neighborhood Halloween party was early this year, on Friday night prior to Halloween. As we left for work that morning, we happened to see the infamous Jack and ask if he would be attending that evening’s festivities. He wasn’t sure. But lo and behold that evening, Jack appeared, this time decked out in all his flight-gear glory – including his cigar. Too bad he only took third place!

As I thought about his costume later over the weekend, it seemed the perfect image – how he used his everyday “costume” along with a pumpkin mask to hide his real identity for the evening. And I got to thinking about how often people do this – put on a public face that hides the person inside – although typically with less dramatic impact that what appears on Halloween.

I know I do. The moments when the last thing I want to do is answer the phone, but on goes the smile, up goes the voice, and my phone persona has nary a care in the world. That comes from years of customer service experience. Other times when I would rather be doing a million other things that what I have to do at that moment, but it is that one thing (instead of the million) that has to take priority. Or evenings when all I want is to curl up with a book and a cup of coffee, when my inner hermit is screaming for her cave, but other things, other needs prevail.

The costumes and masks we wear on a daily basis are part of living, this I know. But I guess sometimes I forget how to take them off, how to just “be” without having to “be” something or some way.

Or conversely, how interesting might it be if we could own those masks, like we do on Halloween, and make them visible as well as real. To put our daily masks and costumes out there, in all their scary, wicked, and/or fun reality. What if we put on our everyday masks with the same thoughtfulness and public declaration of what we “are” each day. Like we do for Halloween.

What if every day was like Halloween – what costumes and masks would we choose to wear if everyone could see them?

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1 Comment

Filed under Life

One response to “Costumes and Masks

  1. Let’s see – something to make me look skinny, 20 years younger, long sleek beautiful hair, oh and taller too.

    On the other hand, I wouldn’t want to give up the wisdom I’ve accumulated, the friends I’ve made or the life I’ve lived.

    I think I’ll drop the costumes and masks and work harder at just being me.

    Great post.

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