The portrait of Dorian Gray
Hasn’t it become strangely easy today to hide behind his mask? To walk through life without ever really being yourself?
It doesn’t matter who we are anymore. What matters is who we are. And so we slowly become the masks we wear.
All of us.
Until we are no one.
But what if we had a mirror that showed our true nature?
A mirror that forces us to look behind the masks?
A mirror that shows not only our tired eyes, our wrinkled mouth and our fat bodies.
but which spits the entire vileness of our being at our feet. With no way to escape it.
What do we do to escape our true nature?
We smile when we have to cry, we put make-up on our faces (yes, even men do that today) and squeeze ourselves into much too tight clothes.
All this just to not show who we are.
To forget that behind our masks lives a soul that trembles, cries and screams helplessly.
…and who is but a shadow of her true self.
Many believe that our masks only serve to pretend beauty and eternal youth. But it is more than that.
For in truth, the old people with their furrowed faces and the thousand stories in their hair are much more beautiful than all the smooth larvae with their dead gaze.
The longing for youth is something else.
We do not look for beauty in our youth, not for fine skin and dark hair.
No, we all search there for the lost wealth of our soul. For the intensity of the first feelings, the authenticity and unaffectedness of our thinking and being.
For in our hearts we have grown old.
The sweetest wine no longer makes us drunk, the flowers no longer enchant us with their scent and the warmest wind leaves our soul cold.
And even love, which once was a garden full of hope, now seems empty and dead to us.
Because at night we sit in front of colourful pictures, surround ourselves with empty things and lie with strange bodies for nights on end.
Old and poor.
How pathetic has this life of ours become?
I hear our shrill laughter, I see our bloated faces and desperate looks and wonder where life has gone to.
And why we cling so desperately to this distorted image of youth and want to prolong it into eternity.
Of course, I don’t want to die either.
I’m afraid of death, perhaps more than others, and I try to repress it.
Only from time to time I dare to look shyly and continue to walk through the day sadly. I work, breathe, eat, sleep, do what I’m supposed to do. Always anticipating that someone is standing in the corner, with a sadly knowing face.
But I suppress the thought of him and continue as if nothing had happened.
But sometimes I wonder what we lose when we lose consciousness of our death?
Because isn’t the end inevitably part of the beginning?
Isn’t that very knowledge what makes up life?
That at some point it will be over?
Aren’t all our works of art, all our inventions and progress, hasn’t all this come from the fear of death?
From the fear of leaving the world and losing everyone we love?
For fear of death we swing ourselves into the highest spheres, write books, wake up nights, think, love, research, go on and on and on and never give up.
But what happens when we forget death? The drive of our soul?
If we think we will remain eternally young behind ever new masks?
What damage will our soul suffer as a result?
What damage have we already done to our soul?
I don’t know. I only know that our masks lie.
And that they blind us to love and existence. …and life.
Because we are less than bad actors. Crippled souls on a deserted road.
One who knew this long ago was Oscar Wilde.
He warned us what would happen if we became nothing but masks. If we sell ourselves to the Devil, like Narcissus only falls in love with appearances, and thereby wither our soul.
Perhaps we’ll be the same person we once were.
Perhaps we believe we are the person we knew when we were young.
With all our dreams, our hopes and our wild belief in a good being.
But in the hours of the night, when we are lonely, when the masks fall and we can’t lie anymore, then we realize that we are old and ugly and rotten to death.
Pretty larvae on the outside. But inside empty and pale.
This is the moment when we, like Dorian Gray, see our true image.
And desperately die.
Because our dead masks are ourselves.