And mulling being true.
I almost said being real but I am dipping into the well more deeply…to remember what it means to be true and to know myself not just as real in the moment but true for the long haul, for the decades left…to know it in my soul, letting other voices go.
MASKS OF CLOTH ON THE OUTSIDE
Today I was going through various masks I have acquired over the past year and a half, perhaps as a way to distract myself from wondering what the incoming storm will be like. Keeping busy doing little tasks.
While doing so, putting aside those that absolutely do not work with hearing aids, I thought about how totally visible these masks are. They come in all colors and designs, masks to keep and masks to throw away.
When I look at someone wearing one, it is obvious what kind of mask it is. I definitely miss expression, but the mask itself stands out and so does its reason. This outer mask, now a piece of clothing, or as some say, like a seatbelt, can only and ever be true to itself.
MASKS OF MY OWN CRAFTING ON THE INSIDE
Without fabric or paper masks covering our faces, however, it is much more difficult to see, know or even discover what inner masks others and I are wearing, the ones you know as well as I do, the invisible, or with a hint that feels off.
How I am not showing up as true.
How others are not showing up as true.
How I have crafted and let one of my inner designs be less than who I am… or more… or “other than” to fit what I want or think I need or in that moment feel obligated to show.
A mask for this occasion and a different mask for that one.
Any one of those is a barrier to my being wholeheartedly me and at times, just like the fabric masks, it is harder to breathe freely and things feel foggy.
Expert at masking feelings. Good at masking truth.
As capable of professional masks as personal.
They are the things of which novels are written.
Why? Do we say it’s just human nature? That it is part of life and we all wear them? Ignore them? Let them go?
Do other people’s masks allow me to feel more comfortable? Or more confused? Or do I miss that they are actually wearing a mask and I am the one fooled?
The well calls me back to my true self. That is why it has found such a place in my life.
What matters is how I choose to be. What matters is who I choose to be. What matters is that I am only ultimately responsible to me for how I show up, masked or unmasked. That’s all.
As I lean over the rim of the well
I study my reflection
For a long time
Lowering the pail
Watching it hit the water
I let what needs to go, go
Scattering with the ripples
Sensing it is ready
I draw the pail back from the depth
Filled with sweet freshness
Lift it up to the sky
Slowly, gently tip
And let a million reminders
Wash over me
Seeping into my being
So when I am tempted
To put on a mask
That landed in my heart
That I already chose
To let it go
With the ripples
For me to wear