Recently I posted a piece explaining why I love masks; they remind me of trying on new identities. Today, I explore a different perspective. Masks also speak to me of hiding my identity from others.
Dark, mysterious masks inexplicably draw me. As if some unseen force lures. I imagine what the former masquerade balls were like and of course, “The Phantom of the Opera” is my favorite musical.
I shiver when the Phantom casts his irresistible spell over Christine. I thank him for calling forth her gift of song and then hate him when he tries to control her.
Yet in the end, only feelings of pity for his unrequited love and loneliness remain.
Sometimes I play around with different hidden meanings of what the Phantom might represent to Christine. Could he be that tempting side of her creativity that longs to break out? Is he symbolic of another trying to force her into conformity? Is he the muse igniting the desire to sing and then controlling how she brings her gift to the world?
I have watched “The Phantom of the Opera” many times and always return home sighing. The musical provokes thinking about why I hide my creative identity from most encountered during my day. Perhaps it is the fear of self-disclosure that keeps what I love from others.
Blogging forces me to take off my masks. The ones I wear to present an “always happy face.” When posting, there is this uncomfortable cringing that occurs as you expose your artistry (or lack of it) to the online community—risky but tantalizing.
Nevertheless, this journey into the dark recesses of my insecurities is necessary. Like when Christine went down into the Phantom’s dark chamber, I pull the mask off my fears and see the pitiful face of one who is just scared and alone. I once again say goodbye to the former JoDee I have chosen to leave behind so I may sing in the light once again.
Blogging Identity Quest: found Painted Fish Studio (http://paintedfishstudio.com) The designer’s Amsterdam pictures stirred the longing to find some of my old photos of Amsterdam and post them; having lived in the city for almost eight years.