Sunday, March 12, 2006

A face is a crowd.

There are faces that we all know well.

We see them every time we sit in the dark, visions left over from people who’ve passed us by, or better still, people who still give us the chance to look them straight in the eye. We have memories, of one of those perfect, perfect, unwavering glances. Glances that stay with us, day after day. That will never leave us, whether you want them to or not, there are things that sometimes, we can simply never forget. There’s simply something wonderful about the human face. Every single one. For every man, for every woman, for every child. For anyone and everyone that happened to pass by. There’s always something.

Always something there, something to be seen, something to be found, something to behold. A map of the human experience, made clean and whole, just waiting there to be seen and appreciated. To be looked upon and loved.

To be appreciated, simply for what they are.

They’re a glimpse.

A glimpse into our lives.
Which is why, sometimes, people are afraid of their own faces.
Through every wrinkle, through every line, through every freckle, there is something to see, something to watch, a taste of identity and personality. And because of this, people become afraid of what they say about them, about how those little ticks and blotches of red might give something away. About how the expressive power of that thing might tell something that all of too many people are trying to hide. Something about vulnerability. Something about humanity.

So sometimes, people try to hide what shouldn’t be hidden. They try to cover what shouldn’t be covered, to disguise what shouldn’t be disguised. Through make-ups and creams, ointments and salves. Layers of lies, to cover the truth.

The truth of our experience, the truth of our brightness, the truth of our lives. The human face is a beautiful thing. Something to be proud of, something to be celebrated, something which should be out in the world with nothing but confidence that the wonder of your visage, from your soft peach-fuzz to your monumental mustache, your wrinkles and your speckles and your freckles and your eyes.

As trivial as appearances can be, something about these wonderful things, how they make us feel; something about them is important.

So look. Actually, don’t look. See.

Start broad, start large. Start with people. Venture out into the world, into one of these fabled crowds. Go outside, where the people are, where they sit to rest their weary legs, where they simply walk on by. Go to one of these places. And pick one. Find a face. Find a new face, one that belongs to someone you’ll never know, someone who’ll never know you. Just look at this person, and see if you can see everything that there face has to offer. Look at the wrinkles, look at every nervous, and infinitely expressive twitch. For one second, gaze on a face, whether it could be called beautiful, or whether it could be called ugly.

Just see it. Behold it, please.

Take it in. Gaze at it, enjoy it. Let it be with you. Just like breathing, the images moving around and about. Being wonderful, in all their ways. Radiance permeating about, no matter how hard some people try to hide. The human face is a beautiful thing.


Get tighter, get smaller. Try a person. A person you know, a person you trust. A person you appreciate, a person with features to be applauded, and eyes that could launch a fleet of ships. A person you care about, in any case. Whatever they look like, look at them.

See them.

Don’t waver, even if they giggle nervously, worried that you’re picking out something, trying to find something imperfect about their face. Be brave. Be happy. Be jubilant. Let the wonder of what you’re seeing take you over, and make you feel the way you need to feel.

They way you should feel. About you.

How do you feel about your very own face?
When was the last time you saw yours?
Really and truly, staring deeply within your own eyes?
Can you remember what it was like, to fall into the infinity² that is the reflection of your gaze?

Move closer. Get more. Try your very own self.

I’m not going to guide you, not on this road. We all have glances that stay with us, bits and memories of lovelies that flit through our days, of old men smiling and young children frowning, all of them beautiful, all of them wonderful. All of them forming samples of this idea, of these faces that form a bits and pieces of our truth, showing things that connect us, whether we want them to be seen or not.

I can try to help you look upon the world. To look at the truth of our brightness, of our weariness, of our acceptance and our doubt. I can try to help you really see the people around you.

But when all is said and done, you belong to no one but you. Your face, your beauty, your glimpse…it’s open to all. But it can only be understood by one.




So see. See yourself. See your lines. See your blinks. See what you must. Just make sure that you see what’s there. All that can be found, all that you have to offer.

Don’t let your face be just another face in the crowd.

Not to you. And hopefully, not to me.

A face in the crowd should be anything but.



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