Thursday, June 17, 2010

we are not our faces

While thumbing through this book, I ran across this essay about fantasy writers by Neil Gaiman.

An excerpt:
"...Frozen in black and silver for you now, these are simply masks. We who lie for a living are wearing our liar-faces, false-faces made to deceive the unwary. We must be- for, if you believe these photographs, we look just like everyone else....
Read [our] books: sometimes you can catch sight of us in there. We look like gods...
Read [our] books. That's when you see us properly: naked priestesses and priests of forgotten religions...
[Our] words describe [our] real faces: the ones[we] wear underneath. This is why people who encounter writers of fantasy are rarely satisfied by the wholly inferior person that they meet..."
It's a fascinating statement on many levels. (Gaiman is just pure fascinating in general.)

a few of my random thoughts:
~Wow, aren't writers an audacious bunch: "we're not like other people."

~Actually, yeah, writers (and artist, creatives, scientists, etc) AREN'T like everyone else. That's true.

~Really, humans in general are an audacious bunch, inclined to feel "not like other people", what with our cliques and religions and social/political groupings (not to mention geography, race, gender, sexual orientation, etc etc etc...)

~Gaiman's statement was oddly reminiscent to me of blogger Stephanie Nielson's statement "I am not my body" after being badly disfigured in an accident. (minus the Monster God aspect.)

~Gaiman's statement touches upon one of my more cherished beliefs as a Mormon; that we are more than what we look like, that underneath the ordinary looking skin mask, we are God.

~It was a painful/hard/difficult time when that audacious sense of I Am God dissipated. When I realized that, in actuality, I might be nothing more than meat. (Neil Gaiman is meat too.)

~I am meat that likes to think of its self as "not like other meat."

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