Ain’t that just the quintessential truth?
Honestly, I oscillate between the two extremes: hide or be seen. And therein lies the tension of a communicator. Or, more presumptuous a statement, most human beings.
I could construct an entirely separate world of fiction and tuck myself deep into some pocket within it. Maybe I’m in the setting and you can’t spot me because I’m like grass, or sidewalk, in that I’m foundational. You just stroll right by and I am never revealed. My childhood home and memories might serve as backdrops and cityscapes but you’d remain unaware. I’m camouflaged in the curtains of story sets.
Maybe I’m laced intrinsically throughout the plot. I might dangle subtle clues with vague cameos of my likeness. But you never truly see me fully. Only innuendos. Nuances of my inner life and narrative. I’m still shrouded, though. Masked.
That clever cover, allowing one to say what needs to be said via all the context clues and prompts and yet, direct words remain unspoken.
A mask indeed, Elywn. A pseudonym for the modest muse.
Do I dare cast myself as a character? The main? And what if you play confidante and I entrust all to you, at face(less) value? You’ll be seeing me front and center, here. Age and acne, wrinkles and warts—my face in your face.
Welp, nowhere to hide my wringing hands. This is the equivalent of standing naked before a jury of your peers. And when the words are released they are not minced. Or cheap. Or inhibited. They are the most primitive renderings. Hieroglyphics. And one understands they’re witness to something holy. Something sacred. A vulnerability that undresses in front of you shamelessly and unafraid.
If I write in this manner I’m unfolding, unlocking, and unveiling, that you could find me—finding myself—in that blinding spotlight. In this way, we journey together with nods and amens. And you feel as though you know me, and I feel known.
All this is suicide for pride and pretense and requires some thick skin to disrobe with words. But what exhilaration to be so entirely free. So exposed. So human.
Mask and unveiling. Simply brilliant, Mr White.
One thought on “quotable”
Mask & unveiling…so true. I love the way you unpacked this idea with metaphor. I’m chewing on different parts of it, still.
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