The Allure of the Mask

After a few days in the Carnival of Venice, I began to wonder exactly what I found so intriguing about the masks and costumes I admired.

Of course it’s nice when a city hosts a festival that truly encourages participation from it’s visitors and residents alike. Believe me, there are cities who host festivals that are hard to find. It sucks. However, I soon realised that I not only did I enjoy Carnival, but I really liked the idea of fancy dress. It’s an opportunity to unleash and freely express yourself. You’re essentially taking on a different persona. Please don’t misunderstand… I don’t think that I’m bi-polar. Instead, I just like that a disguise can give you a break from your expected self.

Changing things about ourselves in real life isn’t as simple. For example, the people in our lives rely on us to behave in the usual way. This can be stifling.

Forget that change is already quite a challenging concept for us handle personally, the added pressures and expectations projected upon us by others – family, friends, colleagues – are quite a burden. As a result, trying to better yourself involves a lot of apology and explanation in care for those affected. Plus, there’s abuse and ridicule because there’s always someone ready to put you down when you’re trying something new. Pretty soon you  begin to feel selfish and question the wisdom in your decision to evolve as an individual. I’d like to say that I’m the warrior who charges forward without any regard

In disguise, we evolve immediately. Assume the role of our new intended selves. No explanations required. Simple, but temporary.

To be nobody but yourself –
in a world which is doing its best,
night and day,
to make you everybody else –
means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight;
and never stop fighting.
-E.E. Cummings

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