Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Elements of Self: Mask self portrait

I read a very touching post  on a beautiful blog called FawnDear. It led me to another amazing blog, where I discovered a sort of organic event taking place with biweekly sharing of themed self portraits. Shakti Mama explains her motivations with "Too many of us have friends and family who hold us at an arm’s reach (I am certainly guilty of doing this myself!), and even we hold ourselves at an arm’s reach, but here — the blogosphere world — we have a space in which we can learn to be comfortable, to reveal intimacies, and, yes, show our faces.  There’s something undeniably compelling about this, about taking off the mask, so to speak."

Pretty awesome stuff, huh? Here is a link to this weeks self portraits that had the theme: Masks

The internet is an amazing playground. A way to connect to others unlike ever before. A way to show yourself in ways that you could not otherwise. However the irony of it all is it also provides cover while doing so, ways to hide while reaching out. And that is what masks represent to me as well. A way to hide while participating. A way to be brave enough to be your true self, while obscuring part of yourself at the same time.

I find I tend to merge the sharing/hiding thing when it comes to blog writing. I am showing and telling, but there is the control. The angles I choose to share. The right lighting, the hiding of the cluttered corners, perfection in chaos sort of stuff. Not done with any kind of deceit in mind at all. In fact, in 'real life' I often see in the macro. I'm just a person who tends to notice the pretty details in the not so pretty whole - and that is what I like to share on my blog: How I see. But the truth is, there is still some hiding of self involved, even if I am hiding it all from myself as well. On the net we all tend to wear masks.

I stumbled upon this link party a little late in the game. It is the last day of the first week, it is dark out already and I am in my pjs and not feeling the ability to get my artistic self awake enough for new photos. But I wanted to play so I searched through my past computer-taken self portraits. And oh... did I ever find my mask. I stumbled upon some glaringly obvious habits that my eyes were clear enough to see tonight since I have this thinky sort of hat on right now.

My Mask Self Portraits...

Lighting set in such a way to blow out my face. Obscure the clutter in the background.

Focus on just my eyes, maybe a hint of mouth. No features that I dislike in presence at all. No blotchy skin. No wrinkles starting to form.

It is embarrassing in a way to finally notice it. A sort hiding myself while sharing myself sort of thing going on. A mask of lighting. A mask of hair hiding my cheeks that have always felt too round.

Me. And not me.


fawndear said...

So glad you're exploring this with me. I love learning and growing from so many similar shared experiances. I must have taken 20 pictures of myself before deciding on the one that showed what I wanted it to show.

Deb said...

This is so interesting. We do tend to hide things and show only the good parts, I never realized it was just like hiding myself.

Juliana @ Shakti Mama said...

Oh, I love this, the way your face is glowing and obscured by the bright light! So lovely and unexpected and surreal! Like a Japanese anime film ...

You are so right ... we do use masks in this vast blogosphere. It's funny, though, even with all the masquerading, I feel as though I can pick up on authenticity and genuine folk. I guess you could call it a psychic sort of intuition, a subtle reading of in between the lines (though this can lead to great miscommunication too!). I love this about the blogosphere world, because, like your mask, it is such a lovely unexpected thing. This is too where we are able to connect, as you pointed out.

Thank you so much for joining, and I look forward to poking around your website.

What does the name of your blog refer to? I'm just wondering because we're moving into our own tiny house in the next couple of days ... our RV, which we plan to travel around in for a year or two.

Marisa @ Getting Back To Basics said...

Glad you decided to join in and I am looking forward to seeing more of you in the weeks to come.

candyn said...

Fawndear - it was hard to choose the right photo for me too. Probably why I chose a few. :) Maybe this type of sharing will get easier as the challenge goes on?

Deb - I think the blogging medium just works this way by default. As bloggers we throw our spotlights onto things we notice and share these observations with the world, but spotlights leave shadows so we don't get the whole picture. I am not saying it is necessary or even desired to 'see it all', but I find the blogging community so interesting. I like exploring the way communication works in blogging.

Juliana - thanks for commenting :0) These photos brought Japanese anime to my mind too. I think it is cool you thought the same. The name of my blog is from a folk? song, In a Tiny House that I sang in my childhood AND a reference to our small home. Small by American standards for our family size. Less than 900 sq ft for a family of 5. It works for us though. Lots of organizing, we give up some things to make room for others. Your RV adventure sounds wonderful!

Marisa - Welcome and thank you for commenting! :0)