Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Face to Face with my Face

       Now I look in the mirror once or twice a day to check and see if I'm still here and that no parts have fallen off. Fortunately our features change so slowly that we are fooled into thinking that few changes have taken place and the face we see is the one we always had.

      Every once in a while something happens that brings a striking end to the idea that we still look the same. We can look  at old photographs but even then we still have in our head that tht's what we still look like. We c an meet old class mates and they don't know us.

     In one Innuit community that I lived in for two years I was called "Ehunga." I knew that they called me "Ehunga" and gradually I discovered that it meant "Crooked Mouth." This disturbed me quite a bit because I have always prided myself in being honest. One day I got up enough nerve and asked why I was called "Crooked Mouth." They instantly used their hands to demonstrate that my mouth slanted upward from left to right. Was I relieved! At least I was honest! I also had a major lower  jaw protrusion. These issues were what I was born with.

       When I needed some major dental work they did surgery to repair the jaw issue. There were some complications with the surgery and some nerve damage resulted. I don't have much feeling on the lower left side of my face. Aging has resulted in some more sagging of muscles on the left side. All these years I have been looking in the mirror and have not noticed much change. I guess things my eyes were seeing didn't get to my brain.

      What brings about this major discovery that everybody else is aware of? Well, when I went on Skype the other day I saw myself on video for an hour and a half. I haven't been on video for a while. I was able to watch myself talk, smile and laugh. I was able to see these facial features that aren't always obvious when looking in a mirror. You usually don't talk or smile when you look at yourself in the mirror.

      So I came face to face with myself while watching video. It was interesting, amusing and provocative. I was able to think about how we see. It's the brain that does the seeing. Sometimes our head really influences how we see.

      Now if I had the technical expertise I would show you pictures for examples of what I mean. On the other hand consider yourselves lucky!

     So some people see great beauty in a certain art piece and others consider it downright unappealing.