I have new neighbors across the hall and the way things are going these days, I may not know what they look like for another year. When you’re my age, the good news about masks is that they hide the bottom half of a sagging, wrinkled face. The bad news is that my glasses steam up, I can’t see, I can’t read lips, and I can’t hear because everybody mumbles. Basically I am rendered deaf, dumb, and blind—but at least I am in the good company of much of the grey-haired, glass-wearing population where I live, and we’re all learning to understand mumblese together. My heartfelt sympathy goes to the younger generation trying to fumble their way through the dating game.
My sympathy also to those of us in my condo building who are personally confronted with an epidemic of pin hole leaks and an assortment of miscellaneous plumbing issues rivaling the proportions of the pandemic. Just as we think (and hope and pray) that it’s under control, another pipe pipes up and bursts forth with a vengeance later. Like health caregivers, plumbers are mightily overwhelmed trying to stay ahead of the floods. They think it might be due to the numbers of people staying home and flushing more. I guess there are stranger things . . . who can say?
Meanwhile, the deaf, dumb, and blind among us continue to run around in a frantic effort to plug up wayward leaks lest we drown before we have a chance to rip our masks off and take a great gulp of fresh air.
It all makes me wonder—is the mask that I wear covering up the best part of myself? Am I hiding behind the safety of what is old, familiar, safe? Is there something that I’m not facing, or something that I do not wish to see? Am I afraid that if I remove the protective mask that shelters my so-called safety that I’ll spring a leak and drown in my own fear? Am I afraid that if I remove the mask I will be judged unfavorably, or that I will expose my vulnerability to others, and be perceived as weak?
So what would happen if I suddenly ripped off the mask, exposed the sags and wrinkles, and came face to face with whatever hides behind the face covering? Well, I might be horrified. Or on the other hand, I might be pleasantly surprised to find a lovely person that I’ve never met, a beautiful soul with a light that shines as bright as the sun, someone that I’d really like to get to know, someone I’d like to hang with for the rest of my days.
It requires courage to allow dark shadows to come to light in order to be healed— to rip off the mask like a band-aid, or peel it away bit by bit like layers of an onion to peek at what lies beneath. But it is safe to trust in the wisdom, care, and guidance of Wise Ones who have our best interests at heart as we do what we must in order to discover the truth, beauty, and goodness that lives within. There’s light behind the mask. Let it shine!
Note: The photo above is courtesy of New Waves of Light, a website designed by anonymous individuals around the world who share the intention of bringing light and love to a world of darkness and chaos. (newwavesoflight.org or NWOL.us).