44 – Faces *

Special thanks to Ritva for providing the photos. Ritva is in Finland and I encourage readers to visit her blog Ritva Sillanmaki Photography. Please tell her I sent you and feel free to comment on her images here. She was also willing to try something different for me – collages. Any thoughts? Ritva’s work is copyrighted by Ritva Sillanmaki Photography.

Click the video above for 2 minutes of background waves while reading.

I like walking on the beach. It’s good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

I see the faces of people I pass during the walk. Some people look at the sea and see faces in the water – but I don’t. On the other hand, the sky is a place for faces.

On this day, a full moon is in the daytime sky. Although it is not a bright smile as its daytime companion, Mr. Moon’s presence is less known and people can easily miss it. Each of us has memories of that face and how we see it at night.

Given that it’s daytime, we know Mr. Sun brightly shines to illuminate other faces; but we don’t see its face – yet we value its presence as it warms our faces.

The clouds in the sky are always moving and changing. Sometimes they are happy or spiritual or both; other times a menacing evil. Sometimes a distinctive profile; other times an imaginative image as an ultrasound picture of a baby.

I think about real human faces – the ones that I pass as I walk and the ones that I’ve encountered through my 60+ years. I wonder how many faces I’ve seen in malls, crowds, in my classes, during travels, and at any gathering I’ve attended? All are faces of different people: the young and the old, the able and the disabled, the men and the women, and faces of different cultures and races. All are faces of humanity.

All the faces that I’ve seen – the faces of different gifts and abilities: the musical, the artistic, the analytical, the athletic, the strong, the generous, the helpers, the leaders, the empathetic, the kind, and many more.

The faces of smiles and kindness who are willing to embrace everyone. Those whose help lifts the faces of others.

All the faces that are willing to share with others. All the faces that truly try to help change the faces of others by helping a various ways to meet a variety of needs. These are the faces bringing the shining light of humanity – but so are the kind faces who smile at each other as they pass when walking the beach.

We look at faces to see various eyes, dimples, freckles, cheeks, noses, lips, chins, ears, foreheads, smiles, and more. Some people look friendly, others grumpy – some of which may be natural sour saps. Some faces are serious, others pensive, and some show genuine warmth and kindness. Some are bound to be fakes behind what they show.

One aspect of a personality must be written on their face – but I can’t identify the lawyer, teacher, pastor, artist, or any other profession as they walk on the beach. Then, there is the angelic face that is the face of a psychopath.

Some smiles are genuine – others are fake. Some people focus on the eyes because the eyes are windows to the soul. But no matter the clues, the story a face tells is far from the full story.

We can call someone fuzz face, dogface, or big face. One can have a long face, do an about-face, laugh in someone’s face, say it with a straight face, show a poker face or a game face, be in one’s face, take it at face value, or even talk until they are blue in the face. But, let’s face it! All could be a bald-faced lie because it is written all over your face. So, wipe that smile off your face. After all, you are more than just a pretty face who doesn’t need egg on their face.

Previously mentioning dogface as a nickname reminds me of the faces of animals – especially our pets. To me, there are more variations in the dog family than within the cat family. Some may say their faces are like humans. That is, coming in a wide variety and having looks that may not match their personality. Then again, their faces can show personality and emotions.

Faces are complex – possibly too complicated – so, keep walking, keep smiling, and keep being kind to others. After all, I like walking on the beach. It is good for the body, mind, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

See what other bloggers have written about beaches

Next Post: Stars * – Tuesday 23 February @ 1 AM (Eastern US)

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173 thoughts on “44 – Faces *”

  1. I really like the line:- But no matter the clues, the story a face tells is far from the full story. People, faces are interesting as is the stories behind them. Trying to capture the essence of a person in a photo is hard. But the beauty of each and everyone can be found, we just have to look for it. Thanks for the collaboration and your thoughts on faces, so nicely written, so, keep walking, keep smiling, and keep being kind to others.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Ritva,
      I always enjoy when a comment states their favorite line or thought. Love the way you took it and applied it to photography, which for me expands the thought. Like you said “Trying to capture the essence of a person in a photo is hard.” Perfect! Thank you again for your willingness to supply the wonderful photos for this beach walk. I hope you are willing to do another one.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. At a time in my life I was painting a lot – in oils……I stuck to landscapes because painting people for me was impossible. I had a fear of NOT being able to capture the facial expression – the “intent” in the eyes, etc. I didn’t want to show the painting to the person I’d painted because to me – I had somehow missed the moment in time that their face TRULY reflected the person. Anyway, enough about me – faces are unique – they tell much and hide much. We each have a look all our own. Faces can be similar but never the same. Just like each day at the beach…..similar but unique.


    Liked by 3 people

    1. Pam, I love painting in different mediums and I love painting people, but mainly from my imagination. And it is funny, that I bring lots of my own expressions into to them subconsciously. Painting, drawing people without a model let me free of the feeling of not capturing the essence of a person, just capturing a feeling.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I was always able to paint or draw people from my imagination but when someone would ask me to paint them I just couldn’t take that on! Too daunting – I wanted it to truly look like them. But painting animals and people from my imagination wasn’t a problem. Still, overall, I really enjoyed painting landscapes, old buildings/barns/homes BEST of all. Your work is amazing.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. As Walt Whitman advised, “Keep your face always toward the sunshine and the shadows will fall behind you.” It’s a great way to get your Vitamin D and stay healthy. As you point out, the endless variety found in faces is endlessly fascinating.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. wow Frank, that’s a lotta faces my friend! Made me think of one of my many favorite Beatles songs, “in my life”. Its words ring so true. Human faces are so unique, do you suppose insects think the same thing about other insects?!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Wonderful pictures! Faces often don’t tell the whole story and yet we scrutinize them, hoping to glean information from them. Yet with some faces—our leaders, in particular—the whole story is right there for those who can see. I will not mention any of the leaders’ names.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Laurie,
      Glad to see you enjoyed Ritva’s images. Faces are one of the first things we see in a person, and – fair or unfair – the basis of our first judgments. Sometimes what is upfront is very real – and in both in a positive and negative sense. Then again, the preset biases within the one who sees also influences perception. Thanks for walking along and sharing your thoughts. So, as a long-timer here – what did you think about using collages here?

      Liked by 2 people

  6. It’s amazing, Frank, just how different all of the millions of faces, that are out there, are! Each one a mask, some more transparent than others. And the vast majority we see, we never truly get to know.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. People and faces go well in collages as scrapbooks were once common, and maybe they still are. Miss Sillanmaki has a great way of seeing and capturing the essence of her subjects.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Oh I LOVE looking at faces on beach walks especially! Always wondering if perhaps–just perhaps–the Universe will surprise me with someone I know. Or sometimes looking at tshirts for clues where the unknown faces hail from. What a great post.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Great post. So much can be written on a face and just as much concealed.
    I remember reading that our dreams are filled with the faces our mind as colllected on the periphery of our vision. So all the monsters, heroes, damsels of our dreams are people we have crossed paths with in real life and assigned them a category by appearance alone.
    Makes you consider the stock of face value.

    Liked by 3 people

              1. Same. The closest I’ve been to downtown in the past couple of months is Pasila.
                If the restrictions tighten in the next two week restaurants will be closing completely or by 6pm.
                Things are certainly not going in the right direction at the moment.

                Liked by 1 person

  10. Ritva’s collages are wonderful, perfect for this post!
    There’s a lot to ay about faces, and you’ve said it all, Frank. I’ll pop over to Ritva’s, shortly!
    I adore Tony Bennet! This is a happy song. Thank you!!

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Ritva takes great photos and the faces are no exception. I find it interesting how many faces aren’t happy. The girls once said that drivers almost all look unhappy or angry. I try to have a pleasant look on my face (although that’s not always easy.) And finally, don’t forget to mention one of my favorite faces…the faceoff. 🙂 Yup, I love hockey.


    Liked by 3 people

    1. Janet,
      I know you appreciate Ritva’s photos. After all, if memory correctly serves me, I discovered her through you. 🙂 So thank you! … and cheers to you as a hockey fan. I’ll guess your love is with either the Coyotes or the Blackhawks. An the answer is?

      Speaking of unhappy faces, I think back to earlier times – 100 years ago. So many old pictures (at least in my mind) captured people not smiling. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a picture of my paternal grandmother smiling!

      Liked by 3 people

      1. American Gothic faces. Hockey teams? I was originally a Montreal fan because I grew up in Nebraska and our CPL team as a farm team of theirs. When a player we got to know on the Omaha Knights went to St. Louis, I became a Blues fan for a time. But now I’m a true Blackhawks fan. Haven’t had a chance to become a Coyotes fan yet, but I’ll stay loyal to the Hawks.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Janet, lots of the photos are taken when the person was not posing or is in their thoughts, not putting on a face for the others to see. I don’t think they are unhappy, just solemn, When I am by myself, I don’t have a smile on my face. Nothing to say about Hockey even if it is our national sport, not a big fan 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Elizabth,
      Cheers to your appreciation with Ritva’s photographs. I may take pictures, but I’m not a photographer, but there are a few comments on this post about photography that I find quite interesting … and for me, your mention of “another sense to our photography skills” sets that up! Thank you. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Kirstin,
      Welcome first-time beach walker to the sands of my personal beach. Ah ha .. and a friend of Terrie’s is a friend of mine. 🙂 Thanks for the kind words and glad you enjoyed this walk. I invite you to visit any of the past walks. So, besides on Blogspot, where are you located?


  12. Hi, Frank – I also see faces, not in the waves but in the clouds Your reflections on faces (and the humanity, around us) are very thought-provoking. We can be quick to judge, but never truly know what the person next to us is going through. Ritva’s portraits paired brilliantly here. Her collages were very effective.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Amy,
      Glad you enjoyed the walk and Ritva’s photos. Thanks for letting me know your favorite line. Isn’t it odd that you are all faces of humanity yet how human nature also wants to impose its will on its own kind in so many ways? Now that doesn’t seem humane to me. Oh well.

      Liked by 2 people

  13. Interesting view peoples faces and of the ones seen in the various skies.
    As a child, we played searching for things in the clouds games when we were at the beach.
    I believe that like the old saying is very true, ‘We always put our best face forward when meeting someone’.
    Can we know someone by their features? I prefer to gaze into the eyes of a perons.
    Though, at times, it may be misread as an interest – from a male prospective – I still think the eyes say so much.
    Be Safe … 😷 🙏🏻 😊 Isadora 😎

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Cincy,

    It’s impossible to imagine how many faces an individual sees over the course of a normal lifetime, but now you’ve got me wondering. Just how many faces I’ve seen to this point in my life. Hmmmm.

    And I saved face by getting here before the weekend came to an end. See . . what I . . um . . did there?

    Is there anyone Tony Bennett hasn’t played a duet with at this point? Not complaining though, not one bit.

    Liked by 3 people

          1. Unless it’s a Rays game, in which you see exactly twelve people. And they’re all neighbors.

            Speaking of Obama, he still hasn’t apologized for not expanding the NFL postseason even further so that the Dolphins could’ve scored a spot. The nerve of that guy, seriously.

            Liked by 1 person

      1. Ritva,

        This is so true, and sometimes I’ll think about from time to time. Like, I’ll be sitting somewhere and watching people pass by, wondering what their lives are about, and the faces, fleeting and yet . . in that moment, they possess me. It must be the writer, much like the photographer, looking to suspend the foreign quality and tell a story.

        Liked by 2 people

  15. Such an interesting compilation of faces by Ritva. Absolutely wonderful. ❤ !
    Frank, face reading can be an interesting hobby to develop. What they reveal, or what that smile hides, or what secrets those eyes hold within them can be quite fascinating.
    Your lines " Some smiles are genuine – others are fake. Some people focus on the eyes because the eyes are windows to the soul. But no matter the clues, the story a face tells is far from the full story." makes perfect sense.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Radhika,
      I appreciate knowing the lines/ideas that catch a reader’s attention, so thanks for letting me know. Reading faces must be a developed skill. So much must go into it. Glad you enjoyed Ritva’s photos, and on her behalf, she appreciates thoughts.


  16. Very interesting photography here, Frank. Capturing good shots of a person’s face close up is a true gift! And I agree: it would be so amazing if we could number how many faces we’ve all seen over our lifetimes!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Debbie,
      Thanks for walking along and glad you enjoyed both the words and the photos. Many enjoyed Ritva’s work … so in case she doesn’t see your comment, she thanks you. I wouldn’t know where to start to even think about the number of faces that I’ve seen.

      I was thinking about you the other day, and wondering about how the tiny tree did with the cold blast. And the answer is???

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Aw, thanks for checking on it! Yes, for a week or so it was buried under the snow, but some of that is now melting and it’s finally seeing light! Its tiny red scarf is still affixed around its base, too!!

        Liked by 1 person

  17. How wonderful to share the faces of the people you’ve seen along your beach walks and adventures, Frank. As we are reflecting on the losses, it’s a joy to take notice, and to celebrate, people we meet along the way. Even if we don’t know them personally, we have all experienced a lot this past year and each face is precious to me.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Just the idea of faces brings a smile to mine. Faces are dynamic and never cease to amaze me in their constant ability to remain unique. I love the raw face; a face without makeup shines in my eyes as I am able to see more fully the honest curves and flaws that pull together to make a person whole.


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