Never worn, just hanging
eyeless and mouth
an emptiness that
volumes of historical festivity
the drunken pox, depravity,
appetites and folly
of the age.
Kim M. Russell, 12th October 2020
My response to earthweal weekly challenge: Earth-Masks
Brendan has given us a detailed background to this week’s theme: masks, something we wear now as a matter of protection, although they have become something of a fashion statement for some people. The masks we wear to go shopping or visit the doctor are nothing like the ones in museums or the ones we wear at Halloween – although, we haven’t experienced Halloween during a pandemic before.
For this week’s earthweal challenge, we are taking up masks: tribal or mythic, literary or psychological. We can assume the persona of a ghost or ancestor, a sea-beast or an eagle. We can explore what masks empower us to say and sing and how different the world is when viewed through the mask. Do masks allow us to enter collective or personal cellars or sidhes or spookhouses it would be devastating to do otherwise? How do our voices change? What happens to language devices like music, metaphor, meaning, rhyme? Do masks allow a bridge from human to nonhuman earth? Do new imagined futures emerge from their oracles?