In keeping with this month’s theme, I thought I’d write about my masks. Not my psychological ones (to which you’re saying, "whew"). I’m not referring to the professional mask I wear in the office that lets me nod sympathetically when I want to say: “No. I don’t believe you’re late because the dog ate your badge.” Nor do I mean my this party’s not boring at all mask. I’m sure you have one, too. I’ve found this mask wears better when combined with alcohol. :)
And, I’m especially not talking about my grocery store mask. The one I paste on my face to hide my aversion to food shopping—having to eat every day can be a real pain.
Instead, I’m talking about my mask collection—or what’s left of it. “Collection?” You ask. Oh-no, you didn’t read this far because you expected to hear about a super hero fetish or some kinky stuff, did you?
|One of My Imitations|
Anyway, I’ve always been fascinated by the sheer beauty of Venetian masks. These identity-disguisers have always been an important feature of the Venetian carnival. There is little evidence explaining the motive for the earliest mask wearing. Most likely, a grown-up version of make-believe. The first Venetian masks were pretty simple, having very little ornamentation, and typically had a practical or symbolic purpose. That changed. Italian masks evolved to include gold leaf, precious gems, and hand painting. No wonder since we humans have always had a fascination with “shiny objects.”
My collection included only imitations—real Venetian masks cost hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.
The one on the right (sadly, not one in my collection) retails for $450 and it's not even an antique.
|Venetian Mask--Not in My Collection|
I lost interest and stopped accumulating masks, primarily because they became too easy to find. What is it about us humans that makes us value the rare above commonplace beauty—that’s a blog for another day. Over the years, I’ve collected, and stopped collecting, a lot of things: Hummels (storage became a problem), carousel figurines, unicorns (unicorn paraphernalia, not the actual animals—hey, don’t judge me. It was the eighties).
|Phantom of the Opera Mask|
I kept a few of my favorite masks--how could I not. They are exquisite.
A couple years back, I actually added to the leftover collection when I created new masks for my Phantom of the Opera themed Christmas tree. We're talking half-mask, like the Phantom wore. Before the holidays were over, I had to take the masks off the tree—they creeped me out. :-0
Today, the remainder of my collection sits mask behind the glass in my cabinet, waiting for me to write a blog (or for some other inciting incident that makes me take notice) to be again be appreciated.
What about you? Have something beautiful sitting around your house that’s underappreciated?
Sheriff Casey Randolph tries to unmask the "real killer" in my latest thriller, Styrofoam Corpse.
He’s sworn to uphold the law.
She swears she didn’t do it. The evidence says otherwise.