Mask

When I was young I grew up on Cape Cod.  Our house had a cellar as most Cape houses do.  Unfortunately, most of them are damp, dank affairs and ours was no exception.  Which makes you wonder why the previous owners had a bar set up down there.  With those tiny windows and the dampness it just doesn’t seem like a place you would want to hang out!  Especially since the cellar would flood in the spring and we had a permanent pump in the floor to deal with the incoming tide.  As you stood facing the back wall there were doorways off to both sides.  One went to the furnace.  The other was a small room where my father engaged in artistic and creative pursuits such as working with stained glass.  The creepy thing about that room is that the door had a set of painted eyes on it.  Today I was looking at a mask that I had made in a collage class.  I mounted it on the door in my studio that goes into the attic (perhaps another creepy place?).  Looking at it reminded my of that doorway long ago in the cape house.  I thought I would share it.  The day we made the masks we were talking about how you often do art in colors that you wear and like.  At the time I didn’t even realize that the mask I was making was in the exact colors I had on – it took another friend to point it out!

Thinking about that cellar brough back another funny memory.  My friends and I were into watching Dark Shadows at the time I was living in that house.  One afternoon, after watching Dark Shadows, a friend and I were roller skating in the cellar.  The kind of roller skates that had keys.  Yeah, yeah, I KNOW I’m old! While we were skating the furnace kicked off and made a loud boom.  It scared us to death and though I don’t know how we did it, we went up the cellar stairs with those roller skates on!!  We took them off and threw them back downstairs as we were too afraid to descend again.  Ha ha!  I hadn’t thought of that in years!  Have a great day everyone!

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9 thoughts on “Mask

  1. I too had skates that I put on over my shoes and tightened with a “key” I hung around my neck. The mask with eyes reminds me of the ones revelers wear during Mardi Gras in New Orleans – especially the feathers! A bit spooky!!

    • I hadn’t really thought about that, but you’re right. I suppose it is a bit spooky – but I’d like to think of it more as “mysterious!

  2. Great cellar story, Kathleen. I wore roller skates that you had to tighten with a key, too. Eyes on doors. I think I would always feel watched….come to think of it, if they hung on a wall I’dfeel watched,also. Mask looks alive! Eeks!

    • Ha ha! I love my mask. I think it’s because the eyes are rather gentle and kind that they don’t creep me out. I wouldn’t be able to work with a creepy mask staring at me. Especially because it stares at my back while I sit here and type!

  3. aloha Artimagica. hahahaha. yeah. fun stories. masks are magic too of course. i like this mask. there is a sense of being watched (may be your dad wanted the kids to know… you can look but someone knows you’re here?? – which of course was true – because YOU knew you were there). i dont feel spooked. i feel intrigued – curious – who’s that peering through the door? i like masks. sometimes a mask gives us the opportunity to express a part of our self we dont really want loose all the time. mostly it’s just fun exploring that alter us.

    i’ve seen those damp area cellars with the bars. may be it was a thing of the time – part of the American Dream – a bar in the basement – a wet bar of course. both in upstate NY and on the Cape. on the Cape i can understand it a bit as a lot of those places were meant as summer houses. upstate NY… hmmmm….

    fun to discover and re-explore bits of our self in our other times of our life, from where we are now. cool. aloha

    • I like your comment about “a wet bar”. Ours certainly was in the spring! The eyes were on that door when we moved in. Hmmm, the people before us must have been an interesting group! it was fun when those memories came flooding back (so to speak!). Funny that we even wanted to be roller skating in the cellar. I guess it must have been cold or bad weather outside.

      I was just in New Orleans and couldn’t resist buying a mask there as well. Of course, it’s much prettier with bling and feathers. I really wanted it and now can’t imagine where I will hang it in the house. It doesn’t exactly fit with my New England decor! Ha ha! I’ll find a place for it and it can spice things up. Have a great day Rick!

      • yeah. i like the mask on the door. the movement of the door – or knowing the door can move – which makes it feel like the being behind the mask moves too – has a cool effect. i have a number of masks too. a number i’ve purchased when traveling from South America to Indonesia and a few other places. plus a few i’ve made out of clay and other things as well.

        most of the masks i display are on a wide overhead strip of wall that is above the doorless passage way between two rooms and down that wall strip on either side of the passage way. a few have small niches in other places on walls. and some sit on a ledge. whether that info will help you or not i dont know. i like the door tho. that’s a cool idea.

        rollerskating in the basement… yeah. might have been bad weather outside. or.. i know.. sometimes if i wanted a smooth surface to do something on… the basement cement floor worked better than the side walk. …altho… i dont think i ever tried to use my homemade skateboard in a basement.

        yeah -homemade – skateboard. i went to a junk yard. bought an old key roller-skate – i only needed one. he had one. for 70 cents. which i thought was high. but that’s all i had too. separated the wheels and tacked them onto a board. yep. that was my skateboard. one of my best buddies had done the same thing and he showed me how.

        cool on great days Kathleen – have fun too. aloha.

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