The rules on mask wearing here are gradually, gradually, easing. The maskless are becoming more visible on buses and trains. On the streets. In shops and department stores (it still comes as a shock), but they are definitely still in the minority.

But where it really comes as a shock is in the workplace. At school. While we, the teachers, are instructed to still wear them – even though the powers that be upstairs now don’t; highly problematic for me and I am basically not wearing one, just have it under my chin to whip up just in case but basically can’t bear to wear one any more as I can’t breathe – some individual students who have also reached their limit in being permanently masked up – three YEARS of never showing your face! – are taking advantage of the new rule wherein it’s basically up to you. The vast majority are still complying – like teaching a room full of surgeons -but some are starting to go barefaced. And for me, it is psychologically quite discombobulating.

I have got used to eyes. Seas of eyes. But eyes are unique, and completely identifiable, beautiful, but they constitute only a relatively small part of the face. And yet with almost all students, I have only seen their eyes – they dutifully keep on their masks for hours on end, even where I have constantly taken mine on and off to drink water or have a break from the bondage – some for a couple of years; it is all I know. And so to suddenly see whole faces is genuinely shocking. I walked into a classroom and didn’t know who it was: the loss of mask can radically flatter a person’s face as a whole or do the opposite; sometimes I felt that faces were looming and melting before me like wax, features blobby and unexpectedly off-kilter (the mind adjusts relatively quickly, but it is still very strange); in other cases far more fine featured; in others, utter facial beauty.

I have been looking forward to this moment, because you realize how removed human contact has been; something vital has been missing. But at the same time, all these faces IN YOUR FACE will take some getting used to. There is a very vivid urgency to fast moving features; it’s like a whole new language I have to learn. Strange new territory.

Another collapse of face for me right now relates to an extended piece/photo essay that some of you may have read on here relating to a rare and secret Chanel perfume that I had the chance to smell while in Hawai’i.

I put up, and removed (twice) this article about my amazing introduction to the scent at a museum in Honolulu, which was commissioned by Chanel for the heiress and socialite Doris Duke (for the record; it was an unnamed, musty, deep woody musk aldehydic in the vein of Lanvin My Sin, a touch of the original Givenchy L’Interdit, with a hint of the warm spice of Nuit de Noël), a dazzling experience, but delving further into the philanthropist’s life story, the piece, as a whole, necessarily became much more immersed in sinister, murderous undertones, and for the sake of some individuals who were going to be quite inconvenienced by this, I decided to remove it. I may well put up an edited version up later, although that would be a shame in a way as it worked as it was (some of you may already have read it).

Integrity is very important to me, but I also had to tread carefully so as not to cause trouble. (Also, I don’t want to find myself mysteriously run over one night on a lonely path)


Filed under Flowers

9 responses to “COLLAPSE OF FACE

  1. Nelleke Oepkes aka Booknose

    I am absolutely horrified by learning that in Japan it is still so! And I can only imagine your feellings.
    As usual so well expressed by words and images.
    Thrilled by the last one. So hauntingly apt.
    And that story about the Chanel perfume is a thriller/horror movie in itself! It gave me the creeps.

    • Yes …. doubly disturbing all round.

      If you didn’t read the original Chanel piece I will try and send it you by email ( that goes for anyone else who is interested as well if I can work out the ‘technology’)

      • Nelleke Oepkes aka Booknose

        Thanks. Really appreciate it dear M Ginza.
        You are very important to my daily dose of humo(u)r.

  2. Robin

    My Sin, l’Interdit and Nuit de Noel? Sign me up for a keg!

  3. Robin

    I think I need to put those three on my skin and inhale. Could be verrrry interesting. And worth repeating. I feel a potential Signature Scent coming on.

  4. Robin

    I just did. O. M. G.

    They harmonize just incredibly.

    I like the idea of wearing them together as a kind of ode to the creative intellect of my favourite perfume person of all time. Makes me inexplicably happy. Xoxo

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