Actors are so good at changing their faces, their voices, even their bodies as they leap from one role to the other, but you can never tell what’s really going on behind their eyes.
What is a portrait? A photo? A drawing? It certainly isn’t an image of the soul. They say the eyes are the windows to the soul, but I’m not buying it. First off, it’s a gross misinterpretation of Matthew 6:22-24, and beyond that, you can’t really look into someone’s eyes and tell anything significant about them.
Well, maybe if you know them really well, but certainly not a stranger.
That’s what we are to each other…strangers. Oh, we read each other’s stories and comment about how we perceive them, but internet contact is not the same as face-to-face human contact. Even Skype doesn’t fully communicate the full impact of being in the physical presence of another person.
So why do we take portraits? Whether paintings or photographs, people seem to have a historic fascination with them.
The whole Shroud of Turin hoax leveraged people’s desire to see the physical face of Jesus. Does it matter what he looked like? Would it tell us anymore about him than the Gospels teach, or that our faith reveals to us?
So today’s writing challenge is to post an image of ourselves as authors and as people and to say something about who we “really” are.
But at least for me, as a would-be author of fiction, it’s not who I am or even who I would like to be, but rather, it’s the stories I tell. This journey is a lot more difficult emotionally than I imagined, though I don’t know why that’s surprising.
Maybe I just wanted it to be easier. It’s why I’m avoiding this prompt. Reality fuels the passion by which we write, but I don’t always have to like it.
This is my face. What does it mean to you?
Never the traditionalist, I decided not to comply…well, exactly.
The photo is a one of a series taken by my son David when I needed to upload a portrait of myself to the website promoting a textbook I had co-written.
Addendum: I switched out the original photo with a “selfie” I took the day after my Dad died.