One person, many masks

Beneath the fragile surface of your laughter

I see

the tears you are drowning in.

____________________________________________________

I’ve always been fascinated with this idea of everyone hiding a secret pain and suffering. That perhaps the strong person welding a smile or air of politeness there’s pain lingering inside. I remember when I was in primary school and in music class we learned The Beatles’ song ‘Eleanor Rigby’. In the song is the line:

‘Eleanor Rigby…waits at the window, wearing the face that she keeps in a jar by the door,

who is it for?’

I remember my young mind literally imagining a lady carefully taking a pale mask out of a jar each day and applying it to her face as she steps out of her door and into the world. But of course, nowadays- now that I am older I see it differently. Each of us wears a mask out of necessity because let’s be honest; I’m sure there have been many times where someone has asked ‘how are you?‘ and you’ve wanted to say ‘not great’ but held back. For me, that happens way too often but I’m sure its a common occurrence for many. But every time we grin and nod that’s our mask playing its role and coming into use. In fact, we probably do way more than we know, and sometimes without ourselves noticing.

I try to keep this in mind when approaching people, it’s always good to be aware that a smile hides 1000 things. It makes you navigate conversation carefully with people and more open to people maybe saying a simple ‘no’ when asked ‘Are you okay?’

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