Thursday, 3 February 2011
i will take photos of myself. raw photos with no makeup, no glitter, no hair product. just my face. i take photos from different angles so i can remember what my nose looks like, the colours that exist in my eyes and the way my mouth turns down ever so slightly in the corners.
i take photos to see if i can remember who i am.
i take these photos and tend to post them on the Book of Face, not telling anyone of the hours i spend agonizing over every tiny detail that can be seen. the spots, wrinkles, colours... i spend so long trying to memorize these details.
i do this because so often i become caught up in the many, MANY emotions, dramas and whatever else is going on in my life that i forget that i am actually a real life human being who has lived. i live so often between all the whims of my existence that i relate myself more to my actions rather than to the minuscule, special physical aspects of my being. mostly, my face. i often forget i have a face.
that sounds stupid, doesn't it?
during the course of my days i find i rarely look at my face.
i will wake up every single morning and walk past my mirror, looking at my tummy and arse, checking to see if they might have magically gotten smaller or more attractive in my sleep. i'll go about my day from there without ever glancing at my face. i'll look at the reflections of my legs in the oven window, my hands as i type my blogs and my thighs as i bathe... but never, ever my face. often times i will go days without actually looking at my face.
this has been my general way of living since i can remember. i never noticed it until about a year ago. i had left for work one morning the same way i always did... toss my clothes on, look in the full-length mirror to make sure my body looked relatively presentable and then left. no attention to my hair and more often than not, no makeup. i just left my face to the elements of the world. the only help i had in realizing what i had been doing for who knows how many months prior to this particular day came from several awkward glances from the other passengers on the bus and then a quick glance at my reflection in the window. what was presented to me was literally a mess of hair. i actually looked like i had escaped from the mental asylum i was about to go start my day where i was employed.
it was about then that i started taking photos of my face. taking them and then looking back at them. comparing them to photos of myself from my childhood or early adolescence. picking out the details that were similar, how i'd changed and what things i liked or didn't like.
this became a ritual for me. i'd take photos about once a week. all of them became a very literal window into how i was feeling that particular moment. furrowed brows, wide eyes, smiles, moist eyeballs... so many details that opened my eyes to the face of me.
this ritual became something i almost needed every week. i needed to be able to look at my face and remember who i was. see what other people see.
i soon learned the things that i loved most about my face (my nose. my eyeballs. my upper lip. my jawline) and the things i liked least (my eyebrows. my forehead.).
looking over the photos from the last year i can see so many things. i can see how my face has changed. i can see how i was feeling a particular day, depending on how much of my face i would photograph (some days just my lips, eyes or nose. some days my whole face). i could see ways that i would hide certain things using lights or hair to my advantage.
it was only today that it really hit me what i've been doing for the last year-ish. i don't know if it's healthy or not. i don't know if i am happy that i do this or not.
i know i love the photos because i so often am terrified that i might forget things. that's why i take so many photos, to stop me from forgetting. in a way, that's my version of hoarding. photos. memories. images. i need them for fear that i might forget what something or someone looks like.
the photos from today made me sad. my eyes look so sad. my face so much thinner than i can remember it ever being. i look ill and tired. this comes from a hard week. a hard and emotional week. i'm trudging through a lot of heavy things. i'm hurting. and these photos. they really do show the hurt.
parp. anyway. sorry. that was that.