Friday, January 22, 2010

some facets of faces


The features of our face are hardly more than gestures which force of habit made permanent. Nature, like the destruction of Pompeii, like the metamorphosis of a nymph into a tree, has arrested us in an accustomed movement. ~Marcel Proust

Every man over forty is responsible for his face. ~Abraham Lincoln

Alas after a certain age, every man is responsible for his own face. ~Albert Camus

A man's face is his autobiography. A woman's face is her work of fiction. ~Oscar Wilde

A face is too slight a foundation for happiness. ~Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

People remain what they are even if their faces fall apart. ~Bertolt Brecht

Every European visitor to the United States is struck by the comparative rarity of what he would call a face, by the frequency of men and women who look like elderly babies. If he stays in the States for any length of time, he will learn that this cannot be put down to a lack of sensibility -- the American feels the joys and sufferings of human life as keenly as anybody else. The only plausible explanation I can find lies in his different attitude to the past. To have a face, in the European sense of the word, it would seem that one must not only enjoy and suffer but also desire to preserve the memory of even the most humiliating and unpleasant experiences of the past. ~W. H. Auden

It is only at the first encounter that a face makes its full impression on us. ~Arthur Schopenhauer

Time engraves our faces with all the tears we have not shed. ~Natalie Clifford Barney

What is a face, really? Its own photo? Its make-up? Or is it a face as painted by such or such painter? That which is in front? Inside? Behind? And the rest? Doesn't everyone look at himself in his own particular way? Deformations simply do not exist. ~Pablo Picasso

I am the family face; flesh perishes, I live on, projecting trait and trace through time to times anon, and leaping from place to place over oblivion. ~Thomas Hardy



Kata said...

Hi Lydia,
Here is very interesting and importand what you writing.Thank you.
I like this site.and your blogs.
Is really wonderful to hear from you.I hope you have a great and fun weekend.

Hattie said...

I loved this. And it's really true about American faces! Europeans appreciate character; we appreciate youth.

Ryhen | Mind Power said...

Hi Lydia! It took me a few moments before all the faces became clear. I even thought I saw eleven. haha. This is a nice post. Camus, Wilde, and Schopenhauer definitely hit home with their message.

YogaforCynics said...

I see Joseph Stalin, a very lecherous looking Sigmund Freud, Nehru, Saddam Hussein with a hat, Pee Wee Herman, T.S. Eliot, Einstein looking kind of depressed, Oscar Wilde on a bad day, Hermann Goering, and William Faulkner.

English Rider said...

The Auden quote is very thought provoking. This whole post is wonderfully complete. (I might be offended by the word verification butslarg. How do they know?)

Darlene said...

I found the ten faces. Very clever.

My face has only been cosmetically changed once (an eye tuck) and will be again tomorrow with the same procedure on the other lid. (Both were for vision enhancement.

But nature has certainly changed it. My face has sagged just like the rest of my body and more lines appear every day. Appearances are not deceiving. The number of years I have lived are reflected in my face and will continue until I resemble a prune if I am blessed to live that long.

I consider the changes a blessing; it means I have lived and in so doing I have known joy and suffering.

Looking to the Stars said...

Oh, goody. I like this sort of thing. I found ten faces.

Loved the quotes! I would have to say I don't care for my face as I have gotten older, I liked my younger face. But I am getting used to the hair that I pluck on my lip and chin. The eye wrinkles don't bother me. The fact that I look more and more like my mother and less like my father is a bummer. Getting older has sure had surprises for me as far as my face :) Such is life!

Lydia said...

Kata- Thank you for your comment. I enjoy your blog also. It is great fun being in touch with someone in Finland where my paternal grandparents were born. :)

Hattie- That quote by Auden was eye-opening for me and I appreciated your take on it. I forget how many years you lived in Europe...

Ryhen- Eleven, I did too! Are you seeing what looks like a bald baby face or really old person second-face to the right, under the first bough of the tree? Anyway, I'm glad you had fun with this.

YogaforCynics- Wow, you're good! Your descriptions of the faces are funny and amazing.

English Rider- Well, that is a rather icky word verification!
I agree with you about the Auden quote; was surprising for me!

Darlene- I hope your eye surgery goes well for you this weekend. My mother could have benefited from that surgery, as her eyelids (from the time she was about my age) hung over her eyes. I used to ask her to check to see if her insurance would pay for it because of her diminished eyesight. She never did. So far my eyelids are fine, but if they weren't I would definitely have the surgery.

I thought your comment was really super. I think you look absolutely great, and I love the fact that you see the changes as a blessing. You are a real role model!

Looking to the Stars- Glad you had some fun with the faces in the tree.
I liked my younger face better, too. :) But I am interested in the changes in my face. Sometimes I feel detached from the image in the mirror or caught on camera...but there are also times I think I like the person I see there. I'm not sure who I resemble. Am sorry you don't look like your father you adored.

Rhiannon said...

What an interesting post Lydia! I saw the 10 faces in the tree pretty quickly.

Reading this post made me think of all the portrait drawings I've done throughout my life. I've been drawn to beauty, or unique beauty, or a certain haunting look in a face...expressive..saying something with their eyes, or I wanted to capture..and I loved drawing the elder Native American Indian faces...with all the lines of "wisdom", pain, and courage etched in their faces like a map. Along with young Native American Indian children..sorrow and poverty in their faces. Eyes say I lot I feel.

I always remember a face, even if not knowing someone, yet have a hard time remembering new people's names..others are the opposite, they remember a name but not the face...strange hey?

Thank you for writing a post about faces, something I can really relate to having done so many portrait drawings in my life.

How are you and your husband doing? I read where you've said he is having a hard time with his career and it's affecting you? I hope you two hang in there. Things are tough all the way around these days aren't they? But we'll survive Lydia..



Lydia said...

Rhi- I swear I was just thinking about you and in popped your comment! You are an amazing artist and I am always blown away by your portraits at your blog. What a gift you have.
Thanks for asking about us. You are in Oregon so are naturally aware of the upcoming vote next Tues. on Measures 66 & 67. Where there are pros and cons to both sides, it boils down to this: If the NOs win my husband's job is in danger, as there will be yet more layoffs in State government. They've already had 20% cutbacks in his office last year, plus he has all those unpaid furlough days imposed through 2011 I believe. It's made for some creative budgeting, but we'll be fine even with the unpaid days off. Can't even think what it would mean if his position (middle management) was cut. As you said, we'll survive.

Phivos Nicolaides said...

Very nice and interesting dear Lydia. Best of wishes and love from the other corner of the world!

Lydia said...

Phivos- Thank you. Well, another new week has begun in your corner of the world and I hope it is a wonderful one. :)

Rhiannon said...

Lydia, I hear you about measure 66 and 67. I hope the measures win for all of us! They will affect me also. It's very scary for me and many people because with medicaid they have already made complete cut offs (two months ago due to state governor cutting the budget)for vision and no dental whatsoever. Nothing. This is now a huge difficulty for us folks on medicaid..if those measures do not pass tomorrow, we received notices from OHP two months ago that people on medicaid here in Oregon will have major cutbacks and also start cutting some people off for medical care on Medicaid completely! They warned us to seek other kinds of "options" for medical care emergencies, etc..if the measure don't pass. If this measure is voted "No" it will affect so many people. I just can't believe that the poor and middle class would vote no for this. Very scary!

Let's hope both measure win. Or else I don't know what I many are going to do! It's bizzare many people I know that live in this apt. complex and who are on medicaid are actually voting "no" against themselves! When I remind them that they are on medicaid "state paid" that a "no" vote will affect their medical care in a big way...they get all hot under the collar and stomp off! They are conservatives and even though they will be punished and might even lose their medicaid they are "Bizzarely" voting no! It boggles the mind. They don't even seem to realize that medicaid is through the state and federal! Denial or whatever my BF and I just shake our's like they are shooting themselves in the foot!

Take care and wish your husband and you all the best for positive things this year and a powerful year for "Good change". yes, I still believe it can happen. Let's hope the measure pass until proven otherwise.



Lydia said...

Rhi- Thank you for your reply and your strong support for the measures. We will know the outcome after 8:00 p.m. Tuesday. I'm nervous, as the news said it is literally neck-and-neck and many younger voters haven't sent in their ballots yet. Your neighbors are idiots! I can't believe the poor and middle class folks who are against 66 & 67. Perhaps you changed a few minds, and I hope I did too.

Fingers crossed, prayers said!

the watercats said...

I love this post!.. Faces always fascinate me and I'm a sucker for a face full of character. I love people watching (when I get somewhere there are people) and it's always a treat when a face appears that grabs your attention because of the story engraved on it in some way. It is so true our faces betray our hidden things.
I'm finding my own personal aging process interesting.. and can remember when every tiny crease occured and I like to predict where the next ones will be :-)

Lydia said...

the watercats- It really was a fun post...for all of us here. :)

"I'm a sucker for a face full of character" sounds like a perfect opening line in a novel...

I guess the best way to "face" our own personal aging processes is with interest, as you said you are doing. In many ways I think it would be comforting to have lived before the fight to stay young was not only expected, but also fostered with the science and products to do so.



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