08 October, 2008

The Mask

Ever find yourself writing a note or an e-mail and giving a piece of yourself; a piece that has never been given to another - to a complete stranger?  It is an odd feeling.  It is not as difficult as one might imagine as you know that regardless of a person knowing your name and other details, there is a safety in the reality that you will probably never meet; probably never talk; and you can, if necessary, just pretend it never happened. 
 
E-mail, and the internet in general provide a kind of distance.  At a point, we feel like we know someone and yet... we know the person only through the words they choose to post.  Sometimes I think that is what blogging is - a sort of mask that allows people to write and speak the truth. 
 
Sure, we might know real names and be able to find one another if the desire presented itself.  But, for the most part, we don't.  We have a mask of some sorts, be it distance or the ability to use our words to only give part of us to the world.  This keeps us safe; it allows us to speak honestly where we might not otherwise. 
 
Some use this mask to live a fantasy world - a world that they would like to be true.  Others, speak the truth and entrust ourselves to the universe and the internet.
 
One day a friend of mine sent me this:
 
Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth..  - Oscar Wilde  
 
He never does anything like this and meant it as an inside joke.  Hours later I found myself entrusting a piece of my heart to a complete stranger finding a sense of comfort and safety in distance and anonymity, and then feeling so completely and utterly exposed.  What an odd feeling.  
 
Many give much of themselves via what they write.  They share themselves so honestly and openly.  They tell us their daily feelings and emotions without hesitation.  We know what is happening.  I have never been one of those people.  There are posts that I sit on for weeks at a time; some never find their way to the internet.  
 
For me, the posts have always been about getting things off my mind.  It is an attempt to capture the thoughts that circle through my head, quiet the voices, and in the process, perhaps gain the thoughts and perspectives of others.  I have never been out to make money, stir things up, or even put myself out there.  It just isn't me.
 
In e-mail, I am much more me - not the me that is masked, but the me that connects my brain and my heart to my fingers.  An e-mail is often an extension of myself; it is stream of conscious; it is unedited and often sent without hesitation or further contemplation.  
 
An E-mail tells a lot about me but does the blog?  I often wonder, from behind my mask, what I am revealing?  How much of me is on display for the world to read and know?  By reading through 400 posts, how well does a person know... me?

9 comments:

cathouse teri said...

There are many facets to a person, and especially to a person like you. We blog-readers only get to know see some of those facets.

But they do shine!

T said...

Funny you write this... I was just thinking of it yesterday.

I laughed at how my readers can see the roller coaster of emotion I have been on this past month... and getting worse by the day!! I wonder if you all can really feel what I'm feeling. I put it all out there without thinking about it. Its raw because that's how I feel. Is it too much sometimes? I don't know or care really. My blog is my outlet.

You, on the other hand, remain much of a mystery on your blog. You give us insight to your thoughts but not your real life. Every now and again, we know that you are spending time with a man here and there. And we hear about the beautiful interactions between you and the Diva. But do we know you?

I read you every day and I would say... No.

I don't know how to be mysterious like that. :)

T said...

Funny you write this... I was just thinking of it yesterday.

I laughed at how my readers can see the roller coaster of emotion I have been on this past month... and getting worse by the day!! I wonder if you all can really feel what I'm feeling. I put it all out there without thinking about it. Its raw because that's how I feel. Is it too much sometimes? I don't know or care really. My blog is my outlet.

You, on the other hand, remain much of a mystery on your blog. You give us insight to your thoughts but not your real life. Every now and again, we know that you are spending time with a man here and there. And we hear about the beautiful interactions between you and the Diva. But do we know you?

I read you every day and I would say... No.

I don't know how to be mysterious like that. :)

liz said...

I tell you what...after I meet you on Sunday, I'll let you know if you come across the same in person as you do through your blog and email.

TAG said...

Any mask has certain holes. Holes that allow you to see out and holes that allow the astute viewer to see glimpses of the face behind the mask.

Some viewers will see more than others. There are Sherlock Holmes types everywhere. They see the minute detail and can draw pretty accurate conclusions from those details. Then there are those who can't see the details even when you come right out and state them.

Our words speak more to the perceptive listener than we know.

TAG

Scotty said...

Different facets.

Someone that reads mine sees a facet no one else gets to see.

If someone knew me, and they read what I wrote...

dadshouse said...

I'm with T on this one - we know what you think on certain issues you choose to talk about, but we really know little about you!

I do sort of agree with Oscar Wilde. Having written two novels and now a blog, I probably revealed way more about me in my fiction than I do online! :-)

The Exception said...

Ah so, I remain a mystery...

T - I love reading your story. It is amazing and so very real.

TAG - there are definitely holes. Some see more than do others - but all the readers here are quite perceptive!

Scotty - I wonder if you would share your blog with a girlfriend?

DH - I am not the only mystery out there.

Liz - Sunday is going to be fun!

Scotty said...

Hmmm... more to come on that one..