Saturday, January 13, 2018

The last face


There comes that moment. It may be sudden, or it may take a week or a month. Nevertheless, it eventually arrives, if you live long enough.

It's the revealing of the last face. The face you have before you die. You can be old and still not have this faceyet.  It comes when the end is near. Gaunt, big-eared, nearly skeletal, the neck narrowed, there is no hope in this face. You have left you behind. This is the you at the close of day, with just hints of who you were. Sometimes the change is so marked, others don't even recognize you.

Do you know who this is?
                                                                                                                                     

Let me help:
                                                                                

I wonder what my last face will look like.

                                                           
Watch this space.

2 comments:

  1. An interesting memento mori, right at home in a geezer blog. It prompted this geezer to think about death masks, and then do some googling. I discovered the Hutton Collection, which includes life masks as well as death masks. http://library.princeton.edu/libraries/firestone/rbsc/aids/C0770/
    Lots of questions come to mind. Is the look of equanimity that we find in so many death masks the product of a post-mortem manipulation? (I’m thinking not only of the closed eyes, but also of the mouths that seem to bespeak a kind of contentment.) What would an entire collection of photographic pairings look like? Should the younger face be that of the subject in his or her twenties? (Many obituaries in my local paper show the deceased in photos from the Forties. The contrast between the last face of Vidal and his face as a young man is especially poignant.) I’ll stop there.

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    Replies
    1. Oz,
      Thanks for taking the time to write. I've often wondered why those death masks look so serene and almost healthy. I remember Washington. Samuel Johnson's is arresting, because in every painting we see of him, he's wearing a wig, and of course his head is bare in the death mask. This could make an interesting project. Richard

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