Tuesday, 1 October 2013

“Eyes without a face”

Inspired by the Georges Franju film

Parkinson’s disease stole my identity and took my face from me. To cover up the loss and to prevent anyone seeing the horror of what was left behind I wore a Parkinson’s mask of expressionless white; only my eyes betrayed the grief and loss I felt. Without an identity I could fit into the gaps in the world and I hid myself away. I was then free to rely on others to give me a person to be; my self-worth was tied up with what they thought of me and I would graft their opinion of me onto the mask I wore. I felt satisfied with the role until I met someone else; then I had to graft another face onto mine. In such tiring anonymity I lost myself in my disease.

However, I knew I remained the same beneath the scared muscle and bone of my stolen face. It was curiosity that made me peel off the Parkinson’s mask; curiosity of what was left of me. Standing at a mirror, mask in hand, I looked at my eyes first and saw the spark of me. I dared to move my gaze around the contours of my face and with a rising heart I recognised every part. Parkinson’s had changed me, for sure, but I could still be me and I could see the light and the dark passing through me. I dropped the mask…

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