(This was originally going to be a photo blog entry of the CATHARSIS, but decided to write something about the mask first. My blogcatalog friend Jayme suggested I write about my avatar, so here it is…not exactly a poem but it’s a full-length “BIO” of my creation–LOL!)
The mask was originally part of my Halloween costume from last year. (I went as the tooth fairy from the movie Darkness Falls.) Recycled with the help of my imagination it became my avatar and Canvas Poetry blog “mascot” if you will..or muse.
Though you can barely see/read them, the face of the mask is covered in a collage of my poetry and smothered in vintage brick red ink. The arrowhead resembles a cross in my eyes, was a birthday gift from my best friend. The heart “nose ring” was added because I felt it needed something else. The bottle through the eye was meant to resemble an ink bottle holding a “quill” pen rising from the eye socket. The mask, bottle and pen are situated on a book of poetry with written verse scrolling across it.
I call my mask Catharsis. The definition of Catharsis according to my computer desktop dictionary is:1. emotional release:an experience or feeling of spiritual release and purification brought about by an intense emotional experience 2. emotional purification through Greek tragedy: according to Aristotle, a purifying of the emotions that is brought about in the audience of a tragic drama through the evocation of intense fear and pity. 3. psychological purging of complexes: in psychology, the process of bringing to the surface repressed emotions, complexes, and feelings in an effort to identify and relieve them, or the result of this process.
There are many mediums to release undesirable emotions. Writing is my chosen Catharsis. Whenever I’m feeling blue I run to my pen and notebook. Or when I’m happy. Or to capture a moment. Or capture a thought that tries to flee. When I can’t scribble any verse I try to sketch or use photoshop to transform my photos. Once I finish the project, I feel restored, refreshed and a wave of relief washes over me. Art is a great CATHARSIS!At the time of the mask’s conception I wasn’t exactly thinking of what each piece would necessarily represent past the red ink covering the face. The mask represents the “purging” of negative emotions. The arrowhead on the forehead chips away exposing the soul for all to see. The quill scribbles and brushes away the dust. The black lips was colored as such to represent ink. Which reminds me of a quote by Mark Strand, “Ink runs from the corners of my mouth. There is no happiness like mine. I have been eating poetry.”
I have been told that my mask is “creepy” and I don’t exactly disagree. However, I think my mask represents those emotions in which we often repress because we are afraid to feel them and express them. Though when I created my mask I wasn’t in any “dark” place, I hope this can become a symbol to remind us all to find a way to channel and express our feelings in a healthy way. Many of us have probably felt what it is like to hold our feelings in and what occurs from it. I think that is much more scarier than really feeling and expressing them. Isn’t it worse to keep them tucked inside us? They are tugging at your heart strings to see the light of day. To be known and understood. Let’s find a healthy way to channel our emotions.
CANVAS=CATHARSIS: Feeling Good? Express It, Embrace It! Feeling Bad? Express It, Release It!
Love Write, J.ajabad