Are You Wearing a Mask?
I live on a mountain in the Los Padres National Forest in California. There are no street lights so it’s really, really … really dark. The wind whooshes through the pines; first whispering and then crescendoing as it carries the scent of last night’s rain showers from one corner of the forest to the next.
At the time of this writing, there are less than three hours before the clock strikes midnight on All Hallows Eve. An appropriate chill is in the air. I smell burning pine and cedar from the wood stoves and fireplaces in neighboring cabins.
It’s a little eerie, but it’s like this every night in the forest. Other than rustling leaves or the occasional coyote pack celebrating a kill, it’s completely silent. Dead silent.
There are a few Halloween parties in the village. Along with the usual ghosts and beguiling vampires, whimsical characters flit about, making friends laugh. People don masks and dress as alter egos; and some as daring representations of what is usually hidden from view. Tonight permission is granted.
I doubt there are any clowns running about, what with the recent nationwide terrorism enacted by individuals dressed as such. I never thought they were amusing to begin with.
As I type, I wonder, how many of us wear masks every day, and not just on Halloween. What truths are hidden? How many broken hearts are obscured by smiling faces?
As authors, we can be whatever we want to be. Many of us become our characters, if only for moments in time. We can use our given names or write under pseudonyms. We can hide in the open.
Less than two hours until midnight.
I ask myself, do I ever wear a mask? Do I hide behind my words? Good question. What if I do? What if I have lived through my stories for so long I don’t even realize I’m doing it. Would I know if I were? Am I aware of who I really am?
Ahh yes, the bewitching hour.
Judith Cassis is a New York Times Bestselling ghostwriter, blogger and book coach. She is the founder of The Golden Pen Writers Guild and Writers Mastermind Alliance and publisher of theWriter to Writer series. Follow her blog: www.judithcassis.com and on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/judith.cassis. Private and group sessions are available for scheduling. Judith offers free group lectures and teleseminars based upon availability.
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