A mask is left on the table after the ball. Whose mask is it anyway? Ah…That is a good question!
Masks bespeak of illusion. We know that the someone behind it is hiding. It doesn’t have to be in the magnitude of The Phantom of the Opera; a mangled face that would scare anyone. Yet the hiding is a stand in for the illusion we create within a relationship and is the theme of this mixed media work on paper.
Most relationships tend to be mind’s projections fueled by our emotions, of our desires of what we want this particular relationship to be. We create the script and if everything goes well, the “party” unfolds more or less as we scripted it. We create relationship scripts within our family, with our friends and when we enter into a partnership of any nature.
When we are in “love” the other seems beautiful, funny, interesting. When we meet a new friend, we feel the excitement of the new and so we create all sorts of “parties” around this relationship. Here we see the reds and golds in the face of this mask, expressing the fun and festive nature of our early feelings. We are vaguely aware that the mind plays interesting games but we are just happy to oblige. We love to attend a ball. We enjoy the dress up game. And so, we may mistake the glittery arrow crossing the forehead of this mask for a witty remark instead of a crucial difference in values. Suddenly, on the twist of a dance step the script changes. The person we loved no longer appears lovable. We now notice the floppy ears; we see the twisted smile, and the crooked nose. If we could see our lips reflected on the mask’s mouth, we may see that the other we were dancing with was not really another. We may now realize that we were attending a masquerade ball of our own creation, so we remove our mask and see who was really behind it. Who is to blame for this formerly lovely party?
Yes, problems arise when we blame the other and worse when the blame is laden with misdirected anger. The other is now ugly. I say, misdirected, because we have now elected to create another party. It is another masquerade and in this one we are the only ones wearing a mask. Looking in the mirror, it is not us whom we see, but ego playing a triumphant role. In reality, when we make our former loved ones into enemies, we are hiding from the truth; we are angry at ourselves for having been part of the masquerade we created. Fortunately, when we are aware of the mind’s tricks, and see ego unmasked, it tends to retreat. We are now able to abide in the acceptance that we had a meaningful lesson to learn and all’s well. We can leave the mask on the table and say good night. The party is over. We learned that we had a big hand in creating an illusion. We choose to see that neither party was right or wrong; just school mates in life’s university.
This painting is part of a series of four on the theme of accepting the illusions we create, accepting the lessons and eventually completing a soul contract. I will share the other pieces in the sequence in the next few weeks. Have an awesome week! Please let me know your thoughts.