There was this Lebanese poet.
Kahlil Gibran they called him. And just like any good Lebanese poet would, Gibran wrote poems. Parables too. In one particular parable called The Madman, Gibran writes about the day a thieve stole his masks. At first, he was pissed. Like livid. So he ran through the streets looking for that hell-sent thieve with his masks. But as he ran, he writes, “The sun kissed my own naked face and my soul was inflamed with love for the sun, and I wanted my masks no more. And as if in a trance I cried, ‘Blessed, blessed are the thieves who stole my masks.’ Thus I became a madman.”
“And I have found both freedom and safety in my madness; the freedom of loneliness and the safety from being understood, for those who understand us enslave something in us.”
Today, on Halloween, many people will wear masks — including Balaram Stack in this photo. We’re just not so sure if they’re the masks Gibran was talking about.