We must be desperate to be seen. The advent of the ubiquitos camera, the mirrors in our pockets, the mediums that hold our memories, our passing thoughts, and the images of ourselves – all floating, in the cloud.
The tectonic shift from relative isolation to a thousand Selfies in a stream, tells us something. I am alive and I am living. I am a thing to be named. A voice within me speaks, and there is an audience who will listen. Who am I? Holden Caufield, Ihsmael, Hamlet on a stick. There must be some meaning to this time and to this place.
What am I?
It’s the gnaw that won’t abate. Walking meat endowed with consciousness? What stares back from the coated glass? And you, dear father, there at the sad height, who might you be?
It seems, on the surface of things, that here, on a planet, crawl seven billion upright ants. Tunneling, building, ferrying bits of chewed leaf and tiny grains of dust from one place to another. The dust bits are stories. We make them. The first few grains are given to us, like snowballs that we keep in the freezer to remind us of winter in July.
The head makes the body. The face makes the head. The eyes make the face. The eyes are called the windows to the soul. But the metaphor fails. A window offers a view. What we see in the face is not easily describable. We feel something. We feel something. Beyond the skin, the bone, the shapes, there is a thing that is not a thing. Who you are, what you are, cannot be hidden. And it yearns to reveal itself.
Stare into the eyes of the so-called other. Look, but suppress the reflex to add lines to your stories. Words are ultimately useless anyway and here most of all. The face is the first page of a story. The face is but the cover of a book. And it’s the book of you, even when the face is not your own. Especially when the face is not your own. We can learn more about ourselves through the face of the so-called other than in this hall of mirrors we call reality.
The more you look, the more you see. There is no other. There is no them. And there is no self. The time of the great merging has begun.
The Book of Faces is myriad with blurred reflections. The gallery of stories, that we tell. What’s in a face? Everything. Don’t be afraid to show yourself. Don’t be afraid to look. There is no stranger, no other, no them. There is only us.
o O o