We often talk about the different faces we show to the world. We talk about the sides of ourselves as if they were a packed room of diplomats, arguing, battling, gaining and losing ground. We are torn. We are indecisive. Confused.

I do this myself. I talk about the different aspects of my personality as if they were separated by some insurmountable divide.

I want my independence. I want to be needed. I want to protect myself. I want to tell you my secrets. I am hard. I am soft. I am tender. I have a dark heart. I am bitter. I am childlike. I am this or that, on and on, in a sequence of contradictions.

This is not a very useful perspective to take.

I understood this, finally, when I looked at myself in a mirror, in the dark.

I can show you how I found a way out of the mess.

Look at my face in the candlelight. See how it shifts in the light? How the shadows recede to suddenly illuminate the cut of a cheekbone, the curve of the jaw? It is always in motion. It refuses to be pinned.

It is the flux that has the constant ability to surprise you, as features appear that you never saw before. This is why we are interesting to one another.

Now close your eyes and run your fingers over it. It is the same face. It is always the same face. It doesn't fall apart under your hands, or twist itself into ugly shapes.

It is this face, the one you find blindly, groping in the dark, that you must know, even though you cannot see it.

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