Creative Genius: The Masks Of Pain & Sorrow

Three years have passed since Robin Williams was found unconscious and pronounced dead at his home as a result of committing suicide. As we remember this phenomenal comedian and actor, may we keep in mind that many people live with—and are sometimes overcome by—challenges that are beyond our understanding.


The Tears Of A Clown

Often the masks that compensate for pain are brilliant and profound—insight, inspiration, and wondrous expression forged from the compress of despair and outrage at the human condition—a means of balance and equalization. This can manifest as art at its finest, yet it can be a precarious and fragile existence, an uncharted journey through the shifting moods of vulnerability, loss, isolation and melancholy. The psyche attempts to protect itself from behind the constructs of the mask, yet the vision of reality is a gestalt of the world’s wounds; and alas, even a legacy of creative genius cannot hide the hurt. Perhaps some reach a certain reckoning with that truth, while others must decide for themselves when the time has come to move along.

“Now there’s some sad things known to man
But ain’t too much sadder than
The tears of a clown
When there’s no one around.”
~Smokey Robinson

As we savor the uncanny and magnificent enchantment and laughter and unparalleled wit left by one of the greatest jesters the world has ever known, may we always keep in mind the battles others fight in their lives just to face each day, to bring themselves into our presence and share their special gifts. Let us welcome the painted faces of joy and laughter . . . and sorrow, the many masks and guises each of us wears, and may we pay special attention to those stained with tears.

©2014 By Shawn Quinlivan, C.Ht. & Cathexis Therapeutic Imagery

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