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Faces!
A column by Tim Flanagan

Face! The final frontier! Faces, funny faces. They are funny, aren't they? You know when you have that moment of cosmic awareness, and you get all philosophical? Where we are not bothered by the trivial daily grind of appearance, and we actually look at ourselves in the mirror as if another species saw us for the first time. They would be like, what funny-looking creatures! To us human appearance is everything, it is part of our core. The face! Billions of faces, and only a rare few are the same. By both appearance and expression! Expression! That which sets the stage for individuality, expression among us is everything! It is how we enhance most forms of communication. 

Faces, scary, sweet, beautiful, angry and sad all mixed together! Your reflection, what face do you see? A sad face can really bring you down! Maybe you have a healing face, a face of understanding! A face that listens and speaks of its genuine care. Masks really! Some that bare the true face of what's inside, others that cover the truth! A child's face that has not been embedded with the bad side of life. No fear, no worry, no frowns on the face of that child! Pain registers on the face, how amazing are we that we can perceive emotions of such complexity? Flirt baby flirt! A wry little smile, a pout of the lips. A sideways look, a playful glance. 

Is individuality too much for the human condition? What if we were all the same? In appearance, in structure, in personality and just completely uniform. Would there be nuclear weapons? Would there be genocide? Would there be racism? Probably not! Like it or not we are stuck with all the faces of past and present. Faces in memories are the most treasured! Angry face, yeah, I get this one! Even when I am not angry, I look angry, or so I am told. Eyes of blue, that brighten when mischievous and turn silver when mad. What do your eyes do? What secrets and desires do they hold? The mirrors to the soul, isn't that what they say? Faces of erotica, they lure, and they seduce. Some faces are really good at that!  

The face of a woman who smiles through neglect, abuse and self-loathing. We know though! As much as we all try and hide those moments, people see it! Faces of ugly, people whose eyes sparkle from the sadness or strain shown on another person’s face. A smile to warm, a smile to comfort, everything will be alright! A face that is loved is the most beautiful face of all! For it wears the mask of confidence, which is a true and noble mask. Love shows upon the face, as if a sunny day suddenly appeared upon it! Wrinkles recede, eyes brighten, smiles abound, and a peaceful calm is shown to the world. A hated face is a deeply rooted mask that appears bitter! To be hated or unloved is disfiguring to a person, it ages you! People avoid looking at you because it depresses them to see your face. Others feel sorry for you. The face of pity hurts! A man who is just tired. It has been a long road of uphill climbing, so little to smile about, and your face forgets how to smile. We want to see the reflection of happiness on our faces! Age! Our faces are melting! Maybe our nose now meets our chin. Maybe from years of grinding your teeth, in not so silent strain, now your teeth are caving in. Frown lines that are now wrinkles. Yet we change inside along with our faces, to be able to be special, funny and important enough to be loved! Remember to face the wind dead on, so you can always see what's coming! 

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