I’ve been in a strange morose state the past few weeks (months?). The thought of blogging or writing to kith and kin seems to switch on the fog machine in my brain. It’s belching out fluffy gray clouds as I write. The spell of morose mental weather could be caused by the actual weather which has been mainly overcast for weeks. I’m one of those people affected by positive ions in the air (due to certain types of weather)…really…and no, I don’t hear alien voices…none with strange accents anyways (writers always hear their characters talking). So I’ve been a morbid wench (What is this ache, twinge, throbbing pain? I’m going to die…my Goblin will be lonely…until he finds a new wife…etc), but at the same time I’ve been slowly writing or rewriting. My brain clears when I work on my stories, but not when I try to write a birthday letter. I find this really irritating as the longer I don’t write the letter, the longer I’ll feel guilty, the more I feel guilty the more I procrastinate. Screams rend the still night air…
Letters aside, I managed to walk into town this past week. I stopped off at the charity shop and found a book called, The World of Leonardo. With a picture of the Mona Lisa on the cover I assumed correctly the subject was Leonardo da Vinci. Thumbing through the book this evening I came across the little sketch of a mask (the photo). In the book, underneath the image was a caption which clears the fog in my brain.
“Designed for some long-forgotten festival, this mask is one of many Leonardo undoubtedly made, along with complete costume designs, stage scenery and court decorations, both in Milan and Later in France. It has been linked with a cryptic inscription found elsewhere in his notes: If you value your liberty, do not reveal that my face is the prison of love. ”
The only thing that makes sense is that he’s writing to his heart (or a heart). It brings to mind someone hiding their feelings behind an emotional mask not because the sentiment would be unwelcome, but out of fear of ending up a fool. Has your face every been a prison of love? When I lost my youthful heart to a young Goblin (not the one I married) I thought I was glancing at him across the school court yard (or whenever he came into view) without revealing my feelings, but I have a cursed expressive face. I fear I was a double fool. I’ve never imagined Leonardo da Vinci making a fool of himself. I suspect his emotional mask was useless, unless he never made eye contact with his beloved. Anyone who’s had their heartstrings yanked by invisible hands knows how unlikely that is!