“CONTEMPLATING YOUR FACE”

“CONTEMPLATING YOUR FACE”

Over time our faces become a reflection of our lives

and what we are comprised of inside.

Over time the mask of youth fades away

as we bear the marks and scars of the kind of life

and the way we have experienced it.

Like a fingerprint,

in a well-weathered face,

every little crevice, corner, ridge, wrinkle

coming out of our unguarded rictuses and spontaneous gestures,

reflect our deeds,

our highs, lows,

wins, losses, defeats,

our pain and joy –

in plain sight and exposed for all to see,

like signage, there is nothing we can do to hide them.

Does our face look deeply angry?

What about mean-spirited?

Perhaps artificial?

Or does it exude goodness, nobility,

a gentle spirit and an inspired soul?

Does it show darkness and solitude?

Or optimism and enthusiasm?

Does it vibe anguish perhaps sadness?

Or does it reflect happiness?

Does it show depression and despair?

Or cheerfulness and passion?

Whatever your honest answer is,

that’s likely who you really are.

But nothing in our face conveys more

about our true nature and human condition than our eyes.

There are those that are downright scary

as they portray death in those that have been in contact with it,m

for the right or wrong reasons.

Others depict madness

and we can sense the tumultuous,

unsettled internal world of the person we face.

What about those that are simply empty and there is no one home?

There is an endless gallery in display

throughout the human species –

the envious eyes,

the obsessed,

the ambitious,

the vengeful,

the sad,

the angry,

the resentful,

the greedy

and the hypocrite.

These contrast with those that are

gentle,

benign,

giving,

doting,

inspiring,

healing,

happy,

joyful,

patient,

grateful,

forgiving,

or simply,

twinkling,

even magical

and outright awesome!

Then there is love.

Our eyes and faces are transformed under the mantle of love;

Youth, freshness, rosiness, sparkle, glow

and cover us with a halo that projects positive energy

impregnated with enchanting and contagious vitality.

The look of love is a masterpiece,

where we see drawn on our loved ones

all that we share and treasure with them.

That’s why,

when we contemplate the faces of our life partners,

we see well beyond what anyone else does

as every move and every angle

reflects a different moment of a life shared.

Each expression and gesture

remind us of a different anecdote,

circumstance or life experience.

We connect their laughter’s to eternal memories,

we vividly remember their smiles

at countless occasions and places

and see their tears of joy or sadness

as those we shared or experienced as a couple.

We see in flashes drawn on their faces

the movie of our life journey,

just like the first time we discovered

our love’s maternal or paternal eyes

at our children’s births,

or their eyes of sadness on each of our departures

followed by their bursts of joy and relief

upon our safe returns,

or their gestures of disgust

at our transgressions or disappointments,

or their immense happiness

when their heart was taken by surprise by spontaneous gestures,

heartfelt little details or even a tiny single flower.

When we see that face

that has journeyed with us for so long,

we see every little thing, wear and tear

that is as much a part of us as it is of them.

That’s why we can’t help but to contemplate,

unwittingly and to a degree unknowingly,

in awe and wonder

the unique kind of beauty

that is made out of the richness of a joined life story

filled with countless and unforgettable mementos.

That is the reason

no one can appreciate and value,

understand, read, see and fully feel

our life’s partners eyes and faces than us,

simply because only we have experienced and know

the life story and anecdotes behind them.

Erasmus Cromwell-Smith,

June 2020.

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