I heard an interesting interview on NPR a couple of days ago of a woman named Heather Sellers who has a condition called Face Blindness. It’s a processing problem, and has a long medical term, but folks with is cannot recognize faces. Not their mothers’ or their children’s, or their sweethearts’. Facial features don’t register. Now, they can most often compensate by recognizing clothing or posture or even hair, but it’s still a confusing existence. You can check out the story and her new book here.
I can’t imagine not being able to see the faces of those I hold so dear. I have them memorized- in some cases I have several of their faces memorized. Their younger faces, the faces they have grown into, their faces from a distance.
There is a face I am often blind to though, and that is my own. I’m not sure if it’s normal, but I’ve just spent years only looking at my face in the mirror close enough to swipe a little make-up across it each morning and an early morning lip gloss application done by looking at my lips in the rear view mirror of the car. My mother and I Skype every night, and since I’ve been doing that, and since there I sit looking at myself in that little box down in the corner, I am surprised at the person I see. She looks and has so many facial expressions like my dad! She obviously doesn’t care about her unruly eyebrows! She has a slightly crooked smile.
So, I’m going to try to make a conscious effort to become a little less blind to the face in the mirror. I’m making friends with her. I’m going to give her a smile when I see her- she looks like she could use one.