(This post was inspired by Week 9: Self Portrait, part of the photography challenge Project 52)
“Self Portrait: n. a portrait of oneself done by oneself.”
A picture of me. I try, then try again. It never looks like what I think I look like. It never looks like me. I stare at the camera screen in frustration. Is this me? No, I eventually concede. This isn’t me.
A self-portrait is an image and it can only ever be a shadow of the real person. It’s flat, 2D. But more than that, it’s only a representation of the physical appearance of the person. But I am more than my physical appearance. I am more than my face.
“[T]here comes a time when you stand in front of a mirror and ask yourself: this is my self? And why? Why did I want to identify with this? What do I care about this face? And at that moment everything starts to crumble. Everything starts to crumble.” (Milan Kundera, Immortality)
This face is not me: it’s changing all the time, as is my body. But then, so are my ideas, thoughts, hopes, dreams, circumstances, goals, relationships, feelings, and anything else that might make me “me”. Is there really any “I” under all this flux? I search for the constants, the things that have stayed relatively stable through time and space.
So let me try again. A self-portrait of my self, not of my face. Continue reading »