There is a beautiful poem by Meg Wheatley which contains the line, "no mask, no bargains." Her words are a meditation on judgement and how we sometimes choose not to see or accept each other as a full manifestation of our human experience.
During my summer downtime it seems like there have been many masks evident in the news. Some infer horror; the masks of killers in the Middle East, some were worn in the apparent service of law and order in the USA during 'riots' in Missouri, others were worn by the protestors in that particular conflict.
I made this picture in New York during one of the 'Occupy' protests; this mask almost became an icon for the activist movement movement.
So many masks...
It feels ironic then, that most of my executive development, coaching or dialogue work seems to be about helping my clients to remove their mask, the persona that is adopted and prevents us showing up as 'whole'. When we wear the mask our options narrow; though it might hide our vulnerabilities, mask wearing takes energy even if it does manage to help us satisfy some of the expectations of those around us.
If we are unable to find the courage that is required for us to be really seen for who we are then the mask tends to stay in place.
But then I remind myself that being seen as our authentic selves is neither rebellion nor subversion. It's what is required in these tricky times....