Monday, October 10, 2011
Found Art Mask; Why I Carry a Camera
I try to carry my camera most days, because I never know when I fill find something wonderful. My husband doesn't take pictures, doesn't think a person can really see the world through the lens of a camera, but he knows he cannot change my long-held habits, so has stopped trying. Honestly, I have never regretted lugging along a camera, but I have regretted leaving it behind. Once, on a trip to London, it was the last day and I was tired and we were just going to McDonalds for some breakfast. It turned out it was the opening of Parliament, and the Queen rode by in the back of her limo, and I had no camera.
This face, or mask, was a bit of found art on a utility pole outside the old cemetery, established in 1847 after a devastating hurricane, in Key West. I went looking for wandering chickens, unusual headstone inscriptions (I told you I was sick), and the historical marker for soldiers killed when the battleship Maine was blown up. We found all those things, plus this I found this image on a utility pole just outside the gates. I'm not sure what it represents, but I found it to be compelling, and I had my camera with me.
We Wear the Mask
By 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!