1968Jim_Morrison

A Jim Morrison quote became the official center of my novel, when I read it yesterday. When I make a word cloud of my novel’s final draft; I want one word to stand out and that word is—mask. Previous word clouds show the word, ‘mask,’ to be of moderate importance, but the word is now of prime importance.

I’ve probably read the quote before, but I did not frame it properly. Framing the quote to fit my theme is on my ‘to do’ list. I suspect Morrison was influenced by a Khalil Gibran quote about seven masks in, The Madman. Here’s the Morrison quote and the Gibran quote sits below.:

“That’s what real love amounts to – letting a person be what he really is. Most people love you for who you pretend to be. To keep their love, you keep pretending – performing. You get to love your pretence. It’s true, we’re locked in an image, an act – and the sad thing is, people get so used to their image, they grow attached to their masks. They love their chains. They forget all about who they really are. And if you try to remind them, they hate you for it, they feel like you’re trying to steal their most precious possession.”  –Jim Morrison.

***

“You ask me how I became a madman. It happened thus: One day, long before many gods were born, I woke from a deep sleep and found all my masks were stolen, the seven masks I have fashioned an worn in seven lives, I ran maskless through the crowded streets shouting, “Thieves, thieves, the cursed thieves.”

Men and women laughed at me and some ran to their houses in fear of me.

And when I reached the market place, a youth standing on a house-top cried, “He is a madman.” I looked up to behold him; the sun kissed my own naked face for the first time. For the first time the sun kissed my own naked face and my soul was inflamed with love for the sun, and I wanted my masks no more. And as if in a trance I cried, “Blessed, blessed are the thieves who stole my masks.

Thus I became a madman.”

–Kahlil Gibran, The Madman

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