In the Age of Face Covering

“The eyes are the window to your soul” William Shakespeare

For women, the eyes are especially telling and even more so in an environment that requires face covering. Now, women (and men) all over the world are covering their face to protect themselves. The impact of this visual landscape is mesmerizing. In New York City, for example, where eye contact is a rare commodity, face coverings, however chicly designed, have increased that concrete jungle feeling. As I walk the streets, covered appropriately, I ruminate about this strange new setting. I find myself thinking about things like trust and spectacle, instability and ambiguity, fantasy and cravings, drowning or keep swimming, waves of disbelief. I think about how as each month passes we adapt and contort ourselves to keep on living. Some people I pass appear to have accustomed themselves to this dystopian-like setting. For others, they give off that cagey feeling. Then, back in the privacy of our homes, we pull off our coverings and try to breathe. We hope to calm the chatter of the street and find that soothing sound of heart beat. Some days, it beats too fast to be soothing. Other days, we can hardly hear the beat and we wonder if we are in fact, dying. What may be dying, exactly, if it is not our body?

There is only one solace to all this. That perhaps it is time. That we will be forced to look up at each other, out of our technological devices and fall back into the eyes.