Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Tortured Soul

DISCLAIMER: This post will contain the contents of my previous shoot. If you don't like disturbing subject matter, I suggest you refrain from reading. This is intended to provoke thought, and perhaps spur action... You've been warned.

I want to tell a story about a girl I knew...



Beautiful, soft-spoken, hopeful. She was full of dreams once.


But the girl I knew, began to grow up. Soon she discovered that dreams and hope weren't enough. The world is demanding. Expectant. She was given masks, in order to play the part. She didn't want to be a disappointment...







For awhile, she loved it. Wearing her masks around, shoving down the uneasiness she felt behind it. We all wear masks, after all. She got all kinds of compliments, and attention, but soon she became hauntingly aware that these were all directed to her masks. She began to lose herself, her identity. And the masks required a lot of work. They consumed more, and more of her time. She became desperate to keep them exactly as she thought others wanted to see, all the while hating herself. Hating who she'd become. Looking desperately for salvation...


Our masks are only as substantial as we allow them to be. Sometimes the truth can escape. And here, the truth escaped. My friend found salvation on the edge of a jagged blade. Suddenly, it was the only thing that she could feel. The only thing that reminded her, behind the thin, shallow veil that had become her identity, her  now-ragged soul endured.


When she was alone, her moments became consumed with the task of deciding which mask she'd don next.


Is this really life? Is this everything we've been promised? Or has it all been a lie?


I never knew about the masks until, in a brief moment of weakness, she confided in me. I was horrified; I realized for the first time that I never knew her. The true her. All this time I thought I had...

As she reluctantly told me more, I began to see the cuts I hadn't seen before. small angry incisions. How had I missed them? How had I never seen this?


I'll never forget the first time I saw her. Not a mask. Just her. Worn, tired, spent. As the world moved onto its next unsuspecting victim, the masks fell away. I saw the beautiful girl, beaten down. Looking from behind such sad eyes...




To this day, I'm still haunted by those eyes, and the truth I discovered in that fateful moment. The truth that keeps me awake at night, which is, that I was the one who painted those masks. It was I who put them on this girl. This innocent, beautiful, tortured soul.

I am the problem...

2 comments:

Tim said...

What do you mean by "I am the problem"? Is it something along the lines of you seeing in her whatever you want to see (ie: Putting a mask on her), or that "you" ("society") forced her to wear these masks because of constant pressure to be strong, skinny, etc.

Cool post.

Josh said...

Both actually. In the corporate sense (society), me buying into certain societal lies, I am cooperating with, and actually becoming a huge part of the problem. But it also comes from the individual heart as well. The heart darkened by human nature, has the tendency to be very oppressive toward others on the individual level. Thanks for the comment!