A Day in a Life 2020

The masks we wear. photo credit Melissa

” In a world where everything is ridiculous nothing can be ridiculed. You cannot unmask a mask.”
G.K. Chesterton


And then there is this……travelling back from town my eye caught the blur of a motorcycle coming up on the left. I asked my passenger to attempt to catch the image as it passed, here is the result. Clown? Skeleton?

He was social distancing and wearing a mask, following all the guidelines. Nothing to see here. The reaction of the three occupants of the car ranged from laughter to horror and affected us individually as a piece of impromptu performance art.

Later, walking in the wind and rain on a deserted beach my thoughts strayed to the masks we all wear. Recently I attended what was billed as a Public Information Meeting for a controversial development project. It was hardly ‘public’, tickets obtained online, twelve people to a sitting, masks mandatory and cut off for tickets five days before the ‘event’. Covid used as a mask to prevent an actual public event. The ‘public’ attendees were masked the presenters were not, but we were all masked in one way or another.

Speaking during the question period, my words muffled through the mask, I felt a strange comfort with only my eyes revealed and facial expressions hidden. The anonymity and calmness that it provided was in stark contrast to the verbal attacks that came my way. I realized that even if we had not been physically masked our daily mask(s) would have been our armor.

You cannot unmask a mask

We live in strange, tragic and interesting times, clowns on motorcycles, clowns in power…….
where the majority of us put on our physical masks and wait for the opportunity to be able to remove them and breathe deeply again. Finding it harder to ‘breathe’ to find our personal authenticity to find that place where we can see ourselves and others naked, maskless and all vulnerably human clinging to the illusion of Control.

westcoastwoman 2020

The Sweeper. Banksy

If you want to say something and have people listen you have to wear a mask. If you want to be honest you have to live a lie.


8 thoughts on “A Day in a Life 2020

  1. What a wonderful read, Janet. I would love to have a discussion w/Chesterton, because i believe you canabsolutely unmask a mask. I think you just did it. (Of course, in New Orleans masking isquite a whole ‘other thing.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. the whole unmasking a mask, i had a few discussions with people before I even quoted it. Many ways of seeing that…..and yes masking in New Orleans…..a few conversations there:)


  2. Love this philosophical piece on masks. It made me think. We all wear different masks for different occasions and for different people. I’m led to reflect on whether or not any of us truly “unmask” ourselves . What would we face if we did? Would we recognise our unmasked selves? Would it make us uncomfortable?
    Interesting …
    And thank you…


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Marian great questions….it was interesting to me how comfortable I felt behind the physical mask at the meeting I described…i had never felt that before, don’t have much of a poker face so my emotions are easily read. Then the layers of masks as you say different for occasions and people. The line in the quote “you can’t unmask the mask” I tried out on a few people before I put it in the blog. Everyone had a different take on it…..so I put it in just to get people thinking. Thanks so much for the comment and for reading the piece.


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