Looking for your own face


Poetry Chaikhana blog (one of my perennial favourites) sent today a post with a poem by Farid ud-Din Attar. It says:

“You can never see your own face,
only a reflection, not the face itself.”

Self portrait half-way through

…and I had a little recognition moment – “That’s what it is!”

That’s probably the reason I am obsessed with portraits. They are also reflections. And so are we for each other. When we face each other in conversation, or conflict, or play, or any other interaction – we become reflections of each other and for each other to see.

Is that why it is always an effort to be with other people (well, it is for me), because one turns one’s gaze outwards and allows one’s own “face” to assume the reflected images of what one can see rather than being an authentic self? Is it even possible to stay authentic in interaction with other people?

Self-portrait. Drawing. 17x21cm

And is my making portraits of myself and others is a superficial (and, yes, futile) attempt to see myself, while actually, it hardly shows even a little aspect of the other? Arrrrh!..

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