Monday, October 31, 2011

Facing Halloween

Bat pumpkin
Scary pumpkin

Halloween offers anyone a chance to try on - for a few hours or a day - a new face or persona. How extraordinary it is to put on a costume, mask or make-up and instantly be transported into another being and hide our true selves! Then, we can go out into the world and see how we are received. Will we get a treat or a trick? Likewise, pumpkins, delicious orange squashes that they are, get transformed into fabulous faces and different personalities when they have their hides carved. They even get to light up the night with their interior fire - a lit candle.

This idea of "face" is intriguing. In Asian cultures the concept of face is taken quite seriously. Face can be one’s social standing, reputation, influence, honor and worth. It is important in these cultures to save face or give face which means to take great care not to deliberately cause someone to lose face by humiliating, disrespecting, or pointing out flaws or mistakes. Saving face can raise the esteem and self worth of a person. I think deeply about this concept. It would be a good practice to always consider the self esteem and feelings of others before I act or speak.

And what if our actual faces are flawed or less-than-perfect? Will this cause us a considerable amount of grief and shame? Yes, of course.  It is much easier to have flaws we can cover up with clothing, but our faces stick out there for all to see. Our bare faces are our nakedness. How can one survive such nakedness? I recall a saying I heard decades ago: 
I've never seen a smiling face that was not beautiful. Author unknown.
It is such a truth and something to hold onto. If one can’t be perfectly beautiful then perhaps one can smile and by doing so - transform into another kind of beauty.

Zip - my inspiration
The Cheshire Cat with big smile

This Halloween I decided to carve my pumpkin with all these thoughts in mind. My cat Zip's  face inspired me to carve and imitate the Cheshire cat with his grandiose smile, and it became "the face" this year. I must remember to smile more ;-D.


Rosenberg, Sarah. "Knowledge Based Essay - Face." Beyond Intractability. University of Colorado Boulder, Feb 2004. Web. 31 Oct 2011. <>.
Rodgers, Greg. "An Introduction to the Concept of Face in ." - Asia Travel., n.d. Web. 31 Oct 2011. <>.

"Quotations about Beauty." The Quote Garden., 05 Sep 2011. Web. 31 Oct 2011. <Rodgers, Greg. "An Introduction to the Concept of Face in ." - Asia Travel., n.d. Web. 31 Oct 2011. .>.

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