About Face IV

Suicide is a difficult topic for the living.

And it hardly seems approachable on this lovely Spring Saturday.

This post has been stirring since I learned of the death of Dr. Frederic Brandt,

celebrity dermatologist, who recently committed suicide.

Brian Booth Craid
Brian Booth Craig

 

It was exactly a year ago to the day of his death that I posted about his work,

under the title About Face III.

Uncanny.

It has been reported that Dr. Brandt was in despair,

and devastated regarding comedic characterizations of his appearance and personality.

It has been difficult to articulate to myself why I would wish to address his work again…

maybe there are too many metaphors, ironies–best to leave the dead in peace?

Perhaps I am trying to punctuate prior posts on the subject?

In pondering this,

with great feeling and sensitivity,

I would suggest that seeking to alter one’s visage is a perverse form of perfectionism–

leading one further and further away from him or herself…

In suicide, apart from the loss of a life, is the tragedy left to the living as to “why”.

We can never know, exactly.

I would offer this:  Perfectionism Kills.

Lucretia,  The Perfect Woman
Lucretia,
The Perfect Woman

Marion Woodman spoke strongly and seriously about the fatal flaw of perfectionism.

In that, how we will always fail in the attempt, and are doomed in the attempt.

I  offer my respect to a doctor, a healer, who went beyond the human and became a God to so many in the limelight.

Rest in peace Dr. Brandt.

Vox Anima, SDM

NUVANGO.COM
nuvango.com

About Face IV

 “For by his face straight, shall you know his heart.”

Shakespeare, Richard III

tumblr_nhkehezsaE1qz6f9yo3_500

 “The face is the soul of the body.”

~ Wittgenstein

As I continue the exploration of Face, Beauty, and Soul, I thought I’d zero in on how much is really happening, phenomenally, in our one and only Face.

I don’t spend a LOT of time in front of the mirror,

(really, truly)

but when I am ill, I tend to be looking more (or maybe noticing more)

For?

Signs, symptoms, health, wellness…

The eyes are my barometer, measuring degrees of such.

eon

Let’s re~visit James Hillman on the Force of the Face.

“Not because of cosmetics and surgery is the face an aesthetic phenomenon, but because it is biologically so.

Besides the muscles needed functionally to chew, kiss, sniff, blow, squint, blink, and twitch  away a fly, most of the forty-five facial muscles serve only emotional expression.”

tumblr_ni6khzyJ0N1qz6f9yo1_500

Marilyn Monroe said:  “I can make my face do anything I want.”

marilyn-monroe-pb03

That is Mastery.

Lauren Bacall
Lauren Bacall

Hillman, continued:  “The face reveals character, the mirror does not lie.

My face announces my presence, reports my nature, and above all, by facing outward, bears a message for others.  Angels blow trumpets.  They call for awakening.  So does the face; it demands response.”

So, dear reader, I would posit this:  What message does your/my face bear for others?

What awakening is being called for in that face of yours/mine?

What response is being asked for, demanded?

861fecb182afd7bc155c89fa067b0535

Hamlet to Gertrude:  “You go not, till I set up a glass–

where you may see the inmost part of you.

Vox Anima, SDM

il_170x135.354709232_kqsi

Art Credit:  Tumblr & Pinterest

About Face II

“I want to grow old without facelifts.

They take the life out of a face, the character.

I want to have the courage to be loyal to the face I’ve made.”

Marilyn Monroe

Miss-Monroe-marilyn-monroe-32256592-1131-707

And the discussion continues…

and the exploration of the subject of aging.

Long before 60, I have been interested in the subject of Beauty.

Real beauty;  that which is enduring, authentic, and more than skin deep.

This is a large subject–perhaps requiring more posts or…?

 

Recent study turned to “The Force of Character and the Lasting Life” by James Hillman.

Fontana_delle_Arti_Via_ Margutta_2010_Rome

Parenthetically, and historically, I will say Hillman’s work has not spoken easily to me.  And I do find it interesting that it is from a masculine perspective I find some grains of truth in exploring the archetype of aging, as it applies to conscious femininity.

However, his “Interlude on the Force of Face” has my attention.

I have excerpted some of his research below.

Roland Barthes makes a useful distinction between the chronos of biology and the chronos of passion, such as we see in Rembrandt’s late self-portraits where the ravages depicted are due less to the passing of time than to the effects of passion.

It is these effects, that Monroe hoped to have the courage to face.

She spoke not of the biological face, but the face “I’ve made”.

 

387x580x9554_2_green_layer.jpg.pagespeed.ic.U3JL565i5C

…the human face as an archetypal phenomenon bears one message: utter vulnerability.

Therefore, the face will be disguised, covered, decorated, surgically altered–

or on the contrary, deprived of all possibilities of hiding, as in the abject condition of prisoner, captive and victim.

This is why our faces are so impossibly difficult to accept:  We are staring into “vulnerability itself”.

Perhaps this is why, vanity and introversion aside,

I have been loathe,  and remain loathe to be photographed!

I cannot bear the primordial image embracing my whole character, as it remains incomplete, and is still taking shape!

580x387xMG_3691-Edit.jpg.pagespeed.ic.EANDDFRp-x

“From mirror after mirror

No vanity’s displayed

I’m looking for the face I had

Before the world was made.”

Yeats

Hillman wrote that Jung did more than transcend Freud when he relativized the power of the analyst by opening analysis to the face.  Face-to-face.

And, in Marion Woodman’s evolution of the Body Soul, she found phenomenal evidence for the power of the face, and the witnessing Other.

“A face, in the end, is the place where the coherent mind becomes an image.”

James Elkins

Dreamer's_Tears_2010_Rome

…I intend to find the facial courage I will need, to see what the mirror can only fleeting give, on this journey of individuation…

Vox Anima, SDM

Art Credit:   Diane Epstein Photography

Dreaming_in_Color_Cortile_San_Silvestro_2011_Rome