Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Lifting weights

It's hard to see the trees when you're looking at the forest. It's even harder to let someone go when they've been a part of your life for a long time. Sometimes you have to let them go.

A heavy weight has been lifted from my life and it took me a while to understand what it was and why it was. After a long talk with two friends (one old and one new, but very wise), I realize that I was still collecting masks. Not mine. Others' masks.

A mask can be a weighty object, not just for the person who wears it to hide who and what they are, but for the people who care about them and fall into the trap of believing the mask is the truth. A mask can also hide an outer ugliness that obscures the truth of the inner beauty. Masks are distractions, a beautiful, and often flashy, sleight of hand that keeps us from seeing the truth.

To quote Ben from The Truth About Cats & Dogs, "You know how someone beautiful can become more and more ugly as you get to know them and someone you wouldn't even look at twice can become more and more beautiful?"

It is not about the beauty of the words or the face or the smile that appears so genuine, but about those little moments when little by little the adhesive fails and the mask slips to show a glimpse of such darkness and ugliness that you doubt what you have seen. You wrestle with what you think and what you saw, telling yourself it was a trick of the light, but eventually the truth wins out and the mask comes off. A very close friend saw the truth and tried to warn me, but I wasn't listening. He was right. I was wrong. The mask is gone and so is the heavy weight I've struggled with these past months.

Here's to lifting and losing the weight of the mask. I just lost a whole lot of it.

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