How the excitement comes upon me to tell it all! In the quest of writing, the heart can speed up with anticipation-as it does, indeed, during the chase itself of whales. I can swear it, having done both, and I will tell YOU though other writers may not. My heart is beating fast; I am in pursuit; I want my victory-that you should see and hear and above all feel the reality behind these words. For they are but a mask. Not the mask that conceals, not a mask that I would have you strike through as mere appearance, or, worse, deceitful appearance. Words need not be that kind of mask, but a mask such as the ancient Greek actors wore, a mask that expresses rather than conceals the inner drama. (But do you know me? Una? You have shipped long with me in the boat that is this book. Let me assure you and tell you that I know you, even something of your pain and joy, for you are much like me. The contract of writing and reading requires that we know each other. Did you know that I try on your mask from time to time? I become a reader, too, reading over what I have just written. If I am your shipbuilder and captain, from time to time I am also your comrade. Feel me now, standing beside you, just behind your shoulder?)
Sena Jeter Naslund
It was a dance of masks and every mask was perfect because every mask was a real face and every face was a real mask so there was no mask and there was no face for there was but one dance in which there was but one mask but one true face which was the same and which was a thing without a name which changed and changed into itself over and over.
I have always felt comedy and tragedy are roommates. If you look up comedy and tragedy, you will find a very old picture of two masks. One mask is tragedy. It looks like it's crying. The other mask is comedy. It looks like it's laughing. Nowadays, we would say, 'How tasteless and insensitive. A comedy mask is laughing at a tragedy mask.'
The Mask "Put off that mask of burning gold With emerald eyes." "O no, my dear, you make so bold To find if hearts be wild and wise, And yet not cold." "I would but find what's there to find, Love or deceit." "It was the mask engaged your mind, And after set your heart to beat, Not what's behind." "But lest you are my enemy, I must enquire." "O no, my dear, let all that be, What matter, so there is but fire In you, in me?"
William Butler Yeats
She thought of the hardness and the coldness she had cultivated over those years and wondered if they were the mask she wore or if the mask had become her self. If the longing inside her for kindness, for warmth, for compassion, was the last seed of hope for her, she didn't know how to nurture it or if it could live.
Megan Whalen Turner
We wear the mask that grins and lies, It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,- - This debt we pay to human guile; With torn and bleeding hearts we smile And mouth with myriad subtleties. Why should the world be otherwise, In counting all our tears and sighs? Nay, let them only see thus, while We wear the mask. We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries To thee from tortured souls arise. We sing, but oh the clay is vile Beneath our feet, and long the mile; But let the world dream otherwise, We wear the mask!
Paul Laurence Dunbar
We wear the mask that grins and lies, It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes, - This debt we pay to human guile; With torn and bleeding hearts we smile, And mouth with myriad subtleties. Why should the world be over-wise, In counting all our tears and sighs? Nay, let them only see us, while We wear the mask. We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries To thee from tortured souls arise. We sing, but oh the clay is vile Beneath our feet, and long the mile; But let the world dream otherwise, We wear the mask!
Paul Laurence Dunbar
It hardly mattered. She was tired of waiting for him to acknowledge who he was. Tired of donning a false mask of gaiety when she was so much more-felt so much more-beneath. No one had ever noticed her mask. No one but him. If he couldn't or wouldn't make the first move, then damn it, she would.
I think seriousness is a mask of self-importance and self-importance in turn is a mask for self-pity. So if you're really going to pursue a spiritual way of living in the world, you must be lighthearted and carefree, have humor, be able to tolerate ambiguity and embrace uncertainty, and be forgiving of yourself and everybody else.
Then she did see it there - just a face, peering through the curtains, hanging in midair like a mask. A head-scarf concealed the hair and the glassy eyes stared inhumanly, but it wasn't a mask, it couldn't be. The skin had been powdered dead-white and two hectic spots of rouge centered on the cheekbones. It wasn't a mask. It was the face of a crazy old woman. Mary started to scream, and then the curtains parted further and a hand appeared, holding a butcher's knife. It was the knife that, a moment later, cut off her scream. And her head.
Behind the mask of diplomatic and political cooperation and partnership with the United States and Europe, the current Russian leaders are following the strategy of their predecessors and working towards a 'New World Order'. When the right moment comes the mask will be dropped and the Russians with Chinese help will seek to impose their system on the West on their own terms...
Look at that ugly dead mask here and do not forget it. It is a chalk mask with dead dry poison behind it, like the death angel. It is what I was this fall, and what I never want to be again. The pouting disconsolate mouth, the flat, bored, numb, expressionless eyes: symptoms of the foul decay within.
Then, finally, the third year, begging the parents, I got the Superman Halloween costume. Cardboard box, self-made top, mask included. Remember the rubber band on the back of that mask? That was a quality item there, wasn't it? That was good for about 10 seconds before it snapped out of that cheap little staple they put it in there with.
The real meaning of persona is a mask, such as actors were accustomed to wear on the ancient stage; and it is quite true that no one shows himself as he is, but wears his mask and plays his part. Indeed, the whole of our social arrangements may be likened to a perpetual comedy; and this is why a man who is worth anything finds society so insipid, while a blockhead is quite at home in it.
We wear the mask that grins and lies. It shades our cheeks and hides our eyes. This debt we pay to human guile With torn and bleeding hearts... We smile and mouth the myriad subtleties. Why should the world think otherwise In counting all our tears and sighs. Nay let them only see us while We wear the mask.
Did you know that the word person comes from the Latin word persona, which means mask? So maybe being human means we invite spectators to ponder what lies behind. Each of us will be composed of a variety of masks, and if we can see behind the mask, we would get a burst of clarity. And if that flame was bright enough, that's when we fall in love.
There are a great number of ego defenses, and the combinations and circumstances in which we use them reflect on our personality. Indeed, one could go so far as to argue that the self is nothing but the sum of its ego defenses, which are constantly shaping, upholding, protecting, and repairing it. The self is like a cracked mask that is in constant need of being pieced together. But behind the mask there is nobody at home.
We never really are the adults we pretend to be. We wear the mask and perhaps the clothes and posture of grown-ups, but inside ourskin we are never as wise or as sure or as strong as we want to convince ourselves and others we are. We may fool all the rest of the people all of the time, but we never fool our parents. They can see behind the mask of adulthood. To her mommy and daddy, the empress never has on any clothes--and knows it.
Throughout their lifetime, most women learn to be uncomfortable with their physical appearance. They create a mask of makeup that is intended to 'fix' their 'imperfections.' They identify so much with this mask they reject their true beauty. Feminine Transitions encourages women to remove their masks and love their true selves, completely.
For me, Halloween is the best holiday in the world. It even beats Christmas. I get to dress up in a costume. I get to wear a mask. I get to go around like every other kid with a mask and nobody thinks I look weird. Nobody takes a second look. Nobody notices me. Nobody knows me. I wish every day could be Halloween. We could all wear masks all the time. Then we could walk around and get to know each other before we got to see what we looked like under the masks.
I suppose everyone continues to be interested in the quest for the self, but what you feel when you're older, I think, is that ... you really must make the self. It is absolutely useless to look for it, you won't find it, but it's possible in some sense to make it. I don't mean in the sense of making a mask, a Yeatsian mask. But you finally begin in some sense to make and choose the self you want.
A cultivated style would be like a mask. Everybody knows it's a mask, and sooner or later you must show yourself -- or at least, you show yourself as someone who could not afford to show himself, and so created something to hide behind. You do not create a style. You work, and develop yourself; your style is an emanation from your own being.
Katherine Anne Porter
It is true that these mysteries are dreadful, and people have always drawn away from them. But where can we find anything sweet and glorious that would never wear this mask, the mask of the dreadful? Whoever does not, sometimes or other, give his full consent, his full and joyous consent to the dreadfulness of life, can never take possession of the unutterable abundance and power of our existence; can only walk on its edge, and one day, when the judgment is given, will have been neither alive nor dead.
Rainer Maria Rilke
I remember a time in a class on a cold winter morning a Japanese girl came with a surgical mask and I thought 'wow people would go to extremes NOT to get sick in Japan' afterwards on a break I approached her and asked in a cynical manner: why the mask? Are you afraid of catching a cold? and then she said 'in Japan you use it when YOU are under the weather and you don't want other people to get sick, it is the polite thing to do' wow! that's a lesson I will never forget
In the first place it's not true that people improve as you know them better: they don't. That's why one should only have acquaintances and never make friends. An acquaintance shows you only the best of himself, he's considerate and polite, he conceals his defects behind a mask of social convention; but we grow so intimate with him that he throws the mask aside, get to know him so well that he doesn't trouble any longer to pretend; then you'll discover a being of such meanness, of such trivial nature, of such weakness, of such corruption, that you'd be aghast if you didn't realize that that was his nature and it was just as stupid to condemn him as to condemn the wolf because he ravens or the cobra because he strikes.
W. Somerset Maugham
Is the mask magic?" he demanded with sudden, passionate interest. "Yes." I bowed my head, so that our eyes no longer met. "I made it magic to keep you safe. The mask is your friend, Erik. As long as you wear it, no mirror can ever show you the face again." He was silent then and when I showed him the new mask he accepted it without question and put it on hastily with his clumsy, bandaged fingers. But when I stood up to go, he reacted with panic and clutched at my grown. "Don't go! Don't leave me here in the dark." "You are not in the dark, " I said patiently. "Look, I have left the candle... " But I knew, as I looked at him, that it would have made no difference if I had left him fifty candles. The darkness he feared was in his own mind and there was no light in the universe powerful enough to take that darkness from him. With a sigh of resignation I sat back on the bed and began to sing softly; and before I had finished the first verse, he was asleep. The bandages on his hands and wrists showed white and eerie in the candle-light, as I eased my skirts from his grasp. I knew that Marie was right. Physically and mentally, I had scarred him for life.
The Clown turned his powdered face to the mirror. "If to be fair is to be beautiful, " he said, "who can compare with me in my white mask?" "Who can compare with him in his white mask?" I asked Death beside me. "Who can compare with me?" said Death, "for I am paler still." "You are very beautiful, " sighed the Clown, turning his powdered face from the mirror.
Robert W. Chambers
We claim no glory. If the tempest rolls About us we have fear, and then Having so small a stake grow bold again. We know not definitely even this But 'cause some vague half knowing half doth miss Our consciousness and leaves us feeling That somehow all is well, that sober, reeling From the last carouse, or in what measure Of so called right or so damned wrong our leisure Runs out uncounted sand beneath the sun, That, spite your carping, still the thing is done With some deep sanction, that, we know not how, Sans thought gives us this feeling; you allow That this not need we know our every thought Or see the work shop where each mask is wrought Wherefrom we view the world of box and pit, Careless of wear, just so the mask shall fit And serve our jape's turn for a night or two.