Life, memoir, Stories

Revisiting Chapter 9 – Wearing Masks- “Who Are We Really?”

What hides behind the smiles and the vacant eyes? Aren’t we tired of wearing masks? — Mark Wayne, Cowboys Are Not Supposed to Cry #Memoir #Grief #Healing #LifeAfter #Tramua https://amzn.to/3kdR49E

Chapter 9, Wearing Masks – “Who Are We Really?” is the beginning chapter of Part 2: Embracing the Present of my memoir Cowboys Are Not Supposed to Cry.

This chapter bounces from the recent present, to the fall of 2004 when my only child was born, and back to the summer of 1993 in the months following Luka’s death. The questions I pose throughout this chapter still remain to this day, although many have lost much of their roar and ferocity simply by the act of naming them and casting them out into the world through my memoir. And there is this…

Can a mortal ask questions which God finds unanswerable? Quite easily, I should think. All nonsense questions are unanswerable. ~C.S. Lewis #Quote #WickedQuestions #UnanswerableQuestions

Life is filled with unanswered and unanswerable questions and life seems so random at times. But what if there was a purpose of something larger than ourselves. how would we then live? The questions that haunt our waking hours would slowly melt away and others might rise to take there place.

  • God, what are you up to in all of this?
  • What is my true role in all of this?
  • What is my impact on others?
  • How can I … (fill in the blank)

Just a few questions that I have pondered as I walk this path set before me. As opposed to the why me questions, that still pop up from time to time. Pulling on my boots and moving forward because sometimes when you can you should.

I plodded through my days, often feigning a reluctant acceptance because, you know, cowboys don’t cry; they just ride away.

CHAPTER 9, WEARING MASKS – “WHO ARE WE REALLY?” – PAGE 85, MARK W. SCHUTTER

Read my thoughts on Part 1 – Reconciling the Past and the first eight chapters of my memoir, links below.

Poetry

Wearing Masks

What hides behind the smiles?
The vacant staring eyes?
Aren’t we tired, so tired,
of wearing masks?
We stare into the mirror and
what do we see looking back at us?
There living inside we see the mystery,
of the imposter who we do not trust.
The eternal fight rages ever on,
to be who we were created to be.
An endless war wages in our brains,
could we be more than what we believe?
We must stand firm and unafraid,
for we are not meant to be fools.
We toss away the sweetest poison,
of false truths and the ridicule.
We have a destiny and a mission,
a path less traveled that beckons us there.
We must rise like a phoenix from the ashes,
knowing we are not the disguises we wear.
What hides behind the smiles?
The vacant staring eyes?
Aren’t we ready, so ready,
to take off the masks?

~Mark Schutter ©2016

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This poem was inspired by my hope that in 2017 I can continue to remove some of the many masks I wear that hide me from others. To be more authentic and real, more vulnerable and accepting, of myself and others. To not live under the shadows others expectations. My wife and I have decided that 2017 will be a year of preparation for us. Preparing our hearts, minds and bodies for the future of all that is good and available to us each day. Now, I leave the ball in your court, how will you live in 2017?

Happy New Year 2017!