Not Knowing

“My name is Mauve and to your other side sits Plum. It is so nice to finally meet you Feather. Here, have a glass of this wonderful tea made from the swamp hibiscus. Almost all here—see them sitting in the other trees?—including us, are like you, they also thought that they were people. Just like you, they had absorbed too much of the character of their specific person, and when the human died, the masks lived on, as if they were that particular person. We do not live with people any longer, but we came here to pick up the last of our fellow masks. Most of the gathered ones in this tree are masks that did not get birthed again by fog mother as stingrays.”

“Oh, that is what happened in that night when I saw all the masks gather on the sea grape tree. That is why I was able to see it, a lot of things become suddenly clear to me.”

“Yes, the two that did not birth into stingrays told us about that event, they also mentioned you. You lying in the dunes, thinking that you were witnessing some unusual dream, not knowing that you were one of us, thinking that you were a human.”

Mask with sad eyes

“I lived like a human, as a human, how very odd. Where do you live? Do I have a choice or do I have to follow you? What about my friends, my cat and my dog?”

“For now we live in the beautiful caves beneath this sandy spot in the swamp here. They connect to the labyrinth under the land that is called Florida. Later, after the ceremony, you can join us to see if you like to live with us, in our community. This home is not permanent, only until the transformation into our final shape has started. Your cat and dog have gone back to their homes, they were also not what they seemed. They were really bats and flew back to their cave. You can see them and talk to them if you join us. We are all friends and have frequent gatherings.”

Mask with lacy adornments

“Thank you for the tea, this is lovely. I can hardly believe what I am hearing, it all seems like a dream, not real at all. But when I look down, to see myself sitting here without my body, the feel of feathers on my face... So, how did you know I was coming?”

“We guided you here. Did you not notice the urgency with which you had to come to this swamp? Nothing could stop you, you felt driven, right? We called you here to finally make you aware of who you are, because you are now sixty-six years old in human terms, the human that you replaced died nine years ago, soon you would have been surprised about the change that will happen to you. The change all of us go through. But when you live as a human, it happens to you suddenly, without warning and can be quite shocking.”

Mask with confused shape and glowing eyes

“You mean that I will now live as mask?”

“No, not for a long time. But you will be pleased with the change that comes very slowly. At first you will not know it at all, only looking back and remembering the years before will make you aware of it. It really is a beautiful thing, do not be afraid of it. Tonight, in the ceremony, this will all be revealed to you. All our lives will change very much. If you decide to join us, we will stay together and we will have new shapes. If not, you go back as that lady, live out her life and suddenly you will be no more. Because when you make that choice in the presence of our master, well, either way you will find out.”

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