The Mask Of The Phantsam : Pretence vs Honesty
“Do you not know that there comes a midnight hour when every one has to throw off his mask? Do you believe that life will always let itself be mocked? Do you think you can slip away a little before midnight in order to avoid this? Or are you not terrified by it? I have seen men in real life who so long deceived others that at last their true nature could not reveal itself;… In every man there is something which to a certain degree prevents him from becoming perfectly transparent to himself; and this may be the case in so high a degree, he may be so inexplicably woven into relationships of life which extend far beyond himself that he almost cannot reveal himself. But he who cannot reveal himself cannot love, and he who cannot love is the most unhappy man of all.” - Søren Kierkegaard
Lately I’ve been talking to God asking him to make me more open and honest about my struggles with my mentors, friends and family. I must say on the record that the brethren have helped me greatly through this time.
In my most privatest moments “when I’m alone in my room , sometimes I stare at the wall” & sometimes “I sit alone in my four corner room staring at candles” like Scarface did in 1991. My issues come from a myriad of places , sometimes I’m measured and thoughtful and other times I’m beaten down , tired and just “done” yet SO reminds me “You said we should come to you if we are weary and weak”
For a long time I carried my load of pain like “a man with a sack full of rocks crossing a river” , thinking the world was against me and I was always getting the short end of the stick , thinking I was always being put through the the ringer till recently I was told “stop moving with your heart” . One man once said “don’t bring logic to an emotional discussion” but surely there is a point where emotions (great as they are) must be put on hold and logic must as the old saying goes “dictate”.
Take your pick ;
Potentially life crushing addictions , Coke fiends , loss of loved ones , mental illness , wavering faith , Arsenal being Arsenal , nightmares , hallucinations , and after the high surely must be the withdrawal?
Jedi recently spoke to me about resilience and how ultimately at the end of the day try as man might , God will always have the final say, be it matters of love or general direction. Last night he sent me something that I can now admit brought a tear that left a burn on my cheek
' the darkness has a lot of stories to tell, of God, the landscape, the scars of our people and the nation. The distant glimmers of light scratching from a distance, they all tell a tale of what life was like before light. Of the desolate places where our souls used to dwell, of how the blind must feel by the day, of the terror that lurks outside the safety of the glorious light we are now held in. In the dark there is a uniformity of color, whether vibrant and saturated, before it all is simply dark. Where men were, some have been freed from but others still stumble over stumps and holes. The darkness is a storyteller, just like the light. And often we forget, it is also one of God’s creations.'
Where I’m At
It’s interesting that in 2017 we have Future talking about “Mask Off” , he is talking about taking off the ski mask probably, but the existentialist in me thinks this speaks more to the man behind the mask “there’s no need to have on a mask” French Montana said “if I’m bare faced I’m coming for your life” very crude, violent imagery, truthful as it might be he was honest about his ill intent. Is there a need to “hide your face from the world” ? in therapy groups we were often told that though it might be hard showing your “true face” but you’ll be happier for it. Even Deadpool once took off the mask and thought “I’ve never known true happiness and probably never will” , in V for Vendetta , a pop culture classic and brilliant piece of screenplay V says “behind this mask Mr Creedy is an idea and ideas are bulletproof” no one except the girl sees his real face however but ultimately he too had to show his face to someone , another example would be when Batman took off the mask revealing himself to the justice league after Superman went power hungry. In order for these comic figures to progress they had to take off the masks. My old highschool roommate always used to say “we just have to be happy man people don’t like sad n*ggas”. Quasimodo left his scantum at the base of the church bell to come to the rescue of the damsel (didn’t get the girl though) commented “why would he almost die for her if he wasn’t even going to marry her” (that’s one for another day)
It is often argued that “in this world where depravity runs rampant , a mask is your best form of defense , never let them see your weakness never let them see your face they get accustomed to it” and this can prove to be very problematic. Why do say Joe Budden is one of my favourite rappers ever is not cause of his wit and his lyricism but because he has his heart on his sleeve , he addresses a lot of his own personal demons openly knowing full well rebuke , critiscims and backlash will follow ; and has been doing so for years , “Padded Room” is an album about dancing with insanity , the Mood Muzik series sees “addict Joe” battling needles and missing therapy sessions but ultimately putting the pills down. Even Royce Da 5’9 , and this story is crazy , Royce himself said “I had to remove the goggles first before at 4AM I would need a kidney donor” , do you know that Eminem had Royce chanined to a bed for three days so he would sweat all the alcohol out of his system? (Around the time of Em’s recovery period) I digress but these people can now look at that past and say “I was that guy”, and one of my favourite Royce lines is “Buried under the stone where the patron 5th sits by lies somebody who never wanted to be this guy” , literally lamenting on how the alcohol would have killed him if he didn’t take off the “goggles” (not the obvious face mask but it’s deep) I used to drink like a fish the counsler made me listen to an audiobook “A new Set of glasses”, changed my life.
For me “out of the clear blue skies I cry random tears” , when I think about the past “I look back & get depressed, I look ahead I get scared” , I’ve noticed in spite of all I have a certain resilience , for that “Thanks be to God” after all Twas he who granted me this pen ability which I now use to address such contemporary issues. I recommend the song “Let it out” by SO , brilliant (not exactly that lead you to catharsis type song but it’s real , addresses a lot of topics and has a catchy hook)
Brother , Sister , what you do is ultimately between you and your God. That is something that you can you not run away from , ask Jonah. That is fact , don’t let some of these overwhelm you. I’ve found Honesty to be something I can highly recommend to a lot of people.