29 4/12: The Mask

Man can­not cast off this mask; it is a pro­jec­tion of his own flesh and spir­it. He can no longer remove from his own face this mask which has already grown like skin and flesh so he is always star­tled as if dis­be­liev­ing this is him­self, but it is in fact him­self. He can­not remove this mask, and this is agony. But hav­ing man­i­fest­ed itself as his mask, it can­not be oblit­er­at­ed, because the mask is a repli­ca of him­self. It has no will of its own, or one could say it has a will but no means of expres­sion and so prefers not to have a will. Therefore it has left man with an eter­nal face with which he can exam­ine him­self in amaze­ment.

—Gao Xingjian, Soul Mountain

Self portrait at 29 4/12


I turn 30 in eight months, and I still don’t know if I’m the per­son who smiles, or the per­son who hides behind the smile.

The Turning 30 Series

One comment

  1. You may not see your­self this way, but you are phys­i­cal­ly gor­geous!

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