I saw a human face today…

I saw a human face today.

Eyes, nose, mouth, chin – the whole shebang. It wasn’t even a family member, just some stranger I passed in a parking lot. She smiled.

I like smiles. I like teeth. I’ve even gained a strange affinity for noses and chins.

It made me realize how much I miss the whole shebang – eyes, noses, mouths, chins… in every person I pass. The wrinkles in some, the dimples in others, the curves and crooks and nooks that make a face beautiful.

It also made me realize how much I hate masks. Oh don’t worry, this is not a rant on the injustice of… or the civic duty of… mask wearing. This is just my own personal feeling about masks.


Maybe its the million invisible masks I’ve worn throughout the years. The good girl. The rebellious one. The cool one. The smart one. The got-it-together one. The happy one.

I’ve pretty much crumpled up all those invisible and inauthentic masks and tossed them in the trash – most of the time. But the disdain for masks (invisible and visible) stays with me.

Masks cover smiles, so we don’t smile near as much.

Masks cover quivering chins, so we miss the sorrows people bear.

Masks cover dimples, and the cratered joy they bring

Masks cover expressions and the stories they tell.

Masks – cloth, decorated, thick, thin, skull faces or Disney characters – it just seems like the real ones enable the invisible ones and we’re losing sight of each other.

I saw a human face today.

I hope I see another one tomorrow.

Because we need each other. 

ALL of each other.  

Noses, chins, mouths and ears…

to be real, engaged, connected and uncovered.

I saw a human face today.

And she was beautiful.

4 Responses

  1. Oh I love this Elsa! Resonating. I’ve even come to appreciate our work Zoom staff meetings cause I’m at least seeing some emotion and especially the laughing smiles in our joking and interactions. Much better than we were meeting in the big fellowship room, but having to wear masks. Thanks for the word pictures. Hoping next Christmas we will see all the smiles.

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