When I went to Italy some years ago I was particularly fascinated by the masks that I encountered in both Verona and Venice; I think most tourist like me were.
We crowded around the stalls and handled the various offering with small cries of delight and wonder. Many people quickly grasped them and immediately assumed a different persona once their face was hidden behind the mask.
The onlookers also took up their roles in the masquerade. As the masked person pranced around with exaggerated movements the audience accepted the new identity that was portrayed.
What I have learnt from this experience – and from living a life that wasn’t mine – was that whenever someone wears a mask all ensuing expressions must be conveyed by the body as the real face is obscured. The mask has an effect on both the wearer and the beholder.
The mask may give anonymity or it may give a new identity.
At the end of the day, it is still a mask; it’s not the real person.
Life should not be a continual masquerade ball – after all even the best masquerade ball comes to an end at some stage.