Glimpses

Monday, May 27, 2013

Masks (Trifecta)

 
 
 
Masks~
    

     Everyone wears masks to cover some part of themselves they want to keep hidden. The vulnerability that exposes a fragile spirit can sometimes be trampled on by an uncaring world. People who have been hurt, and don’t want to feel that type of pain again, wear a mask to protect the soft underbelly of their souls. Vampires, and zombies, not the kind you find at the latest cinema, but those you find in the human race, feed on the unmasked ones.

     Make-up is a tailor made mask. Enough make-up can make anyone who is sad appear to be happy. Take a look at the clowns that line the corner of Seventh Avenue; each of them with their painted on smiles that otherwise wear such deep sadness so well. They pass out balloons at a parade, make silly faces at children, and hide their sorrow beneath their masks. 

     Beneath the white faces are stories untold. Chester, the one with the half torn rainbow umbrella, lost his wife to a suit and tie fellow that works on Wall Street. She told him she wanted a “real man” and that a clown could never be that man. The umbrella reminds him that colour is something we add to our lives. It is easy to tell when he’s having a particularly hard time, the five-o’clock shadow peeks through the white paste on his face. The only time he lets the tears fall is when a random child runs away from him in fear, but the sadness remains all the same.

     When people find fear in the face of a clown, it reminds me that the Universe truly is a mirror, and those things we are afraid of are a reflection of our selves. It’s not the mask, or make-up that frightens, but the misery people feel that seeps up through the colours that scare them. In the end they want to find the rainbow instead of the rain.

© k~ 2013

Word Count: 324

This piece is the result of this week's prompt from Trifecta, where they choose a word, and we use the third definition as a base for our story. This week's word is:
 
 
APPEAR
1a : to be or come in sight
  b : to show up
2: to come formally before an authoritative body
3: to have an outward aspect : seem
 
 
Images used in this blog are either mine, or come from Morguefiles unless indicated otherwise.

52 comments:

  1. Sad and thoughtful. Nice images. Chester with his torn umbrella, the 5 o'clock shadow peering through the white paste. And the universe as a mirror... instead of all that anger and fear let's find that rainbow. I couldn't agree more.

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    1. Thank you Steph. This week while I was reading blogs, there were so many mentions of clowns being evil, or creepy that I thought they needed to be unmasked just a little. We all want a bit of the rainbow. :-)

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    1. Thank you for taking time to read and respond Ivy. :-)

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  3. Lots of deep reflection in your writing. Well done. I love going down into emotions both in reading and writing.

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    1. Thank you for reading Maggie, and responding. I like to swim in the deep end, and honestly if it were not for being able to write some of it out, it might be overwhelming.

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  4. You have done a good job for the poor clowns who were off late being portrayed as dark and evil :)

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    1. Thank you Bhavya. I think most clowns get a bad rap.

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  5. This is exactly as I see clowns, and leave them long enough behind their masks they become creepy and start to act out with meat-cleavers or such... Poor guys

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    1. LOL, I suppose that's true too Bjorn. So, maybe I should keep an eye out for the ones that don't ever take their make-up off?

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  6. I like that-- find the rainbow instead of the rain. well said!

    best,
    MOV

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  7. Definitely sad and thoughtful. Well done. But yeah, I'm pretty sure that's not why I'm afraid of clowns. LOL

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    1. So why is it you are afraid of clowns Jennifer? :-)(and thank you!)

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  8. I think clowns can be creepy because of the masks. I can't see what is covered up and I can't anticipate what I can't see. I like your look behind the clown's mask, though!

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    1. Thank you for explaining that to me. Most people that I know, and ask are unable to give me a reason, but I know many people who find clowns frightening on some level. I suppose that makes Stephen King's "It" all that much more terrifying for those who are even willing to watch it, that are also afraid of clowns. Your definition not only provides me with a viable answer, it makes sense to me on a base level. Interesting, I may have to play with clowns more in my writing (in private of course) and see what kind of scary characters I can drum up in the process.

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  9. Interesting take on the prompt. We never really give a thought to what's behind the mask, do we?

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    1. Many do not look much farther in people than what they see on the surface, my curiosity plants me behind the mask first. ;-) I want to know why a person is the way they are, no matter what it is they show to the world.

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  10. Sad in the end but I loved to read it.

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    1. Thank you, even sad things can be insightful sometimes. :-)

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  11. I sort of feel bad for every clown now ):

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    1. Awww... Hey wait, that means this made you think about them differently :-) That's a good thing. I imagine some of them really are bad characters, but not all clowns are evil.

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  12. I love the imagery you use to describe damaged or insincere people. A mask is perfect to describe what they are concealing. For the record, I've always loved clowns. :)

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    1. I am so glad to hear you say that Debbie. My first painting ever, was of a clown, and it still hangs in the children's section of a library in Montana. I have always liked them too. Though rodeo clowns have to be a little bit crazy to climb over the fence and into an arena with a ticked off bull. ;-)

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  13. k~, you bore straight through to my soul with this one. Truly, you touched me. Love.

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    1. Thank you t~ I have come back out into the world of words, this time with my heart attached. I am glad it spoke to you. Thank you.

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  14. I love this - Most especially the story of Chester and his torn rainbow umbrella.

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  15. Clowns are extremely interesting characters. On the surface, they are meant to amuse others but, often, they strike fear, simply by appearing in their standard uniform. I have often wondered at the inner make-up of someone who would purposely hide their true selves from view. Good choice for this prompt.

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    1. Thank you Tom for the thoughtful response. They may be on my agenda again sometime soon for interviewing, they can be very interesting people, and are often surprised that anyone is even curious about what they are like beneath the mask.

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  16. Clowns don't really enter my daily life but I think there is definitely something to the notion of being frightened of someone who disguises themselves. We take so many of our visual cues from people's expressions, when those cues aren't available to us, or are muddled, it causes anxiety.

    Interesting piece, K.

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    1. There is insight in the fear of those people whose body language does not display what we expect, but what of those whose body language may appear to be genuine, but in fact hides the very core of them in a deceitful front? If I had to choose a clown or a con, I think the clown might be easier to read. We do pass on a great deal of information by way of body language, it is part of what makes conversation through writing (particularly online) more of a challenge.

      Thank you for taking the time Jo-Anne. :-)

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  17. Quite a reflective piece on appearances. Clowns sort of epitomize that, don't they?

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  18. This is my favorite take on "appear" this week. There's so much poignancy in your esay/piece. No matter how "real" we are, we never allow people inside and thus we also wear some sort of mask.

    I loved this.

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    1. What a nice comment to make Lance. I appreciate the time you took to read it, and it really makes me smile to see that it is your favorite for the prompt this week. I am not sure that's ever happened to me before, it feels good. :-)

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  19. What a great take on the prompt! Love the introspection and your description of Chester. Very cool piece.

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    1. Thank you Suzanne. I appreciate your input.

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  20. "but those you find in the human race, feed on the unmasked ones." Really interesting line. Great piece!

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    1. Thank you H.L. Pauff (love the name by the way), I appreciate your stopping by to read it, and especially to tell me which parts you enjoyed.

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  21. I don't care what is behind the mask. Seems hardly anyone is real now with all the politically correct speech, the desire to fit in with some group, to be perceived as successful, etc.
    Actions are the only thing that really matters regardless of motive. That and not tracking mud in on someone's carpet.

    Sorry.

    I've recently begun considering joining the church of carpetology and those thoughts kinda interject themselves into the train...

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    1. You sound angry, and I can only assume that since you don't know me from Adam, you are angry at the world.

      Merry meet.

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  22. You are right. Sorry for the post, it was a rant. I wasn't angry with you or with the world. I was angry, and still am, at one specific person who has turned my world and my family's world upside down. That's why I said only actions matter, not the face a person shows to the world.

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    1. Fair enough. I can appreciate a situation in which venting helps.

      As for the masques, we all wear one at some time or another, hopefully not with those we are closest to.

      I wish peace for your circumstances...no matter what they might be.

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    2. Right again. Venting does help but this was not an appropriate place to do it. You are very kind.

      Hope you all the best!

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  23. great writing, as usual k... you are very descriptive, placing me in the scene you write about. :)

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    1. Thank you so much daph, it was nice to see you here again :-)

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I appreciate your comments, and constructive criticism is welcome!

“To bring anything into your life, imagine that it's already there.”

- Richard Bach

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