I have come to have a whole new appreciation of masks and wearing them. On the hand, we have the fun masks touting the trick or treating tradition of Halloween which is coming up next week. Can you believe it!! October comes in and then it goes out. The little ones (and big ones more and more) come out to get a bag full of yummy (no candy kisses) wearing signature fancied costumes of the year, ranging from going all out (full makeup, unrecognizably dress to the nines regale) to a single mask. Bewitching! But by the end of the night of traipsing up and down the street and around the corner block, knocking on door to door, heralding “trick or treat”, the costume kind of takes a turn, wearing out its excitement, and the perky masks now find themselves hanging from the chin or off the ear. Temporal in nature, the masks are a delight.
Then I turn to the masks of another kind, the ones of precaution. Everywhere you look now you can find masks being sold. It’s like a smorgasbord of taste where the need for difference has become marketable. Granted the actual mask is required, safety first. But now masks are the rage. From plain, disposable, blue/white masks worn for emergencies to take your pick – colour/print/character/adult/child/clear/ multiple-single use/breathable/licensed/full/partial and on and on and on. You can almost devise a checklist of sorts and voila! there you have it. A couple of months ago it was very difficult to find any kind of mask, never mind variety and flavour of the month.
Whatever it may look like, masks have taken on a whole new life. For instance, I watch my grandson get of his school bus, and I look inside to see the bus driver waving away, she is wearing hers too. Everyday he comes into the house, has to put the mask in wash along with his school clothes and wash his hands before anything else. Way to go young man! Then I go into the different stores and a sea of masks meets you from little people to big people. It is just like I said, the variety of masks one finds is eye-popping. But also encouraging too. Funnily though, those who do not wear a mask stick out like a sore thumb. I get a bit of an uncomfortableness in me when that occurs, as the store already gave the directive, even has masks available for free, to respond to the instructions from the public health advisory. And here a person chooses not to. I pray for the safety of others.
Mind you it is not easy to wear a mask all the time. And wearing masks are not asked to be worn in every store either. So what do you do when you live in a shoe. The world in which we live in now requires us to pause and take stock. I am so grateful that many are doing their part. Change is not easy. But come on, how difficult can it be. I always find the anecdotes from my sister who has been an essential worker since the beginning of the pandemic, to tell the tales of people coming and going at her work. Well lets just say some masks cover part of their face…chin or lower mouth…forgot the memo obviously. Or the big one, where the practice of covering up the cough or sneeze, you know two of the spreaders, well she smirks a bit (or steams) when it happens right before her. God bless the plastic shields. Yep. And because you know masks reveal the eyes…oh my if only eyes could talk. They do, let me tell you. Chuckle. It’s all good, sister.
Have you ever noticed people’s eyes? I love eyes and now you can pay attention to them which is kind of interesting. Eyes really do have a language of own especially coupled with movement of eyebrows. Take a look the next time when out and look at people’s eyes. Not everyone is comfortable looking straight into the heart and soul of another for the eyes tell a different story. And I know there are certain cultures that do not allow one to look you in the eyes. But they can express so much. I think of teachers (me being formerly one) in particular as they develop this look. Yep, good times.
I think masks provide a good way to hide too. Not just literally but sometimes I think people put a face on, an invisible mask of sorts. In other words, not being the authentic self. So for them, wearing a real mask can maybe let down guard down and just be…themselves. Does that make sense? Invisible masks are like shields and fronts to weather the need or want to put up, to hide what is really going on within them. Why would you not want to be you with others or self for that matter? Maybe it is a deep-seeded need to appear to be something more or less, to detract from facing whatever. I even would go so far as to say that the mask has been worn for such a long time that the person does not even know it. Do people even realize that masks slip? Some pondering to do.
Oh well, let the masks do what they are intended to do….protect.
Be safe. Blessings,
Let us pray for those who are in need of strength and courage this day.