So it is Halloween and kids and adults alike will dress up in costumes and go to parties and eat candy corn; or try not to eat candy corn if they’re on a diet. Ha ha. I will likely be sitting on my porch with my guitar making kids dance the Monster Mash for their treats; and my kids will get too much candy trick or treating and lay it all out over the living room floor and sort out the Kit Kats and Reeces cups and I will try to give it to the troops or the dentist…
Here’s a video I made at Seven Maples Campground. ” The Monster Mash”
I just wrote this little piece for my Masters course in Sibelius called “Be Careful What You Wear”. It’s an obtuse little instrumental in the key of E minor, starts in 4/4 and changes to 6/8 in the middle and modulates to F minor at the end- all to fit my assignment for class. I wanted to write some lyrics- a Halloween tune, but didn’t get around to it. But I got to thinking, the title says much more than “Halloween costume” to me.
But be careful what you wear!
Yeah, I am not big on scary costumes; I don’t like inviting the demonic or gruesome into my home. And I don’t appreciate all the super sexy Halloween costumes, either! Not sure if I dislike them more for the sin they encourage or because I wouldn’t look good in them till I lost some more weight!
So where am I going with this, you ask?
You guessed it! It’s that image we all wear in public that protects our reputation. Sometimes I have prided myself on being honest and real and not afraid to be me! But bold or not, I know how to put on a mask. As parents have to put on a good face for the children at times; They don’t need to know the parents just had a fight or that we’re struggling with the rent payments. As a teacher, you have to put away the personal struggles on the class, the student, the lesson.
As an artist I get to wear different “faces” on stage… we call that “acting.” -And it can be fun! When I sing a sad song like Billie Holiday’s “Good Morning Heartache” I channel my inner broken heart, even though things are going well in my marriage. When I sing a joyful praise song like J. Bryan Craig’s “Rejoice” I focus on the joy of Christ in me and smile and sing with all my might no matter how tired I am, or if I have cramps from “That time of the month” or whatever. But maybe that’s not really a mask, because I really do get my heart into these roles… they become my heart. The song becomes my truth and so my expression communicates.
Be careful what you wear!
But there are other masks we wear because we are afraid. I am sometimes afraid to grow old and unattractive. I wear wigs, I wear make up. Or are we afraid we we’ll look stupid or like we don’t have it all together? I try to do it all on my own strength like some Amazon Woman from a super hero movie! I write clever promotions and post perfect pictures… I would never post a picture of how I look at 6 am when I get up to help my kids get ready for school.
It was because of these masks, or the emotions that lead to them, that I have written many songs… one from my Grace With Jazz on Top CD sums up who I really want to be:
“For God did not choose us to condemn us, but that we might secure his salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord.” from 1 Thessalonians 5:4-11 (JB PHILLIPS New Testament)
“God himself (from whom we receive all grace and who has called you to share his eternal splendour through Christ) will make you whole and secure and strong.” 1 Peter 5:10-11 (PHILIPS)
“Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear” Psalm 112:8 (NIV)
Be careful what you wear!
23For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes…
29And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it.
30For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them.
31But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.” Luke 12:22-31
What should I wear then?
“3Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes.
4Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 1 Peter 3:3-4
That can be really hard… but it doesn’t scare anyone on Halloween or any other time!