Today, walking down the street, I saw a man with a wonderful face.

I don’t mean his face was beautiful. By conventional standards, it wasn’t beautiful at all. The man looked to be somewhere in his mid-sixties. He had a rough face, with coarse features and a grayish beard.

It was a face that had been lived in, and when I looked at him I imagined he had spent his life sailing the seven seas, that his had been a life with stories to tell.

Of course there is no reason to think that any of this was true — it was just a feeling, a reaction to a face glimpsed in passing.

And yet I wonder, is there perhaps a grain of truth in such moments? Perhaps the way we live our life can, over time, begin to create a story upon our visage — a story that can be read by others. Not just tragic stories (the ruined face of Chet Baker comes to mind), but delightful stories as well — anyone old enough to remember Jack Gilford will know what I mean.

As the years go on, do our faces come to reflect the souls within?

2 thoughts on “Faces”

  1. Jack Gilford does have a wonderful face (which I remember much better than his name—I had to look him up). I can’t even remember exactly the roles I’ve seen him in, but one look at a photo of him in his later years makes me think of laughter and youthful energy.

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