Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Things to Do with Your Forehead

So, what do you think about your forehead? Like it? Pleased with the feature? Find it fetching?

Ask me about a person's face, and I'm going to talk about things like their eyes, their nose, their lips. Their hair. Their cheeks. A dimple. Maybe the ears.

When it comes to foreheads, the only one I notice is my own, and that's because its territory seems to keep getting... larger of late. (Thank you, Grandpa Jim.)

But the thing about foreheads is, they are great billboard real estate. All that skin just sitting there -- sure it's not the upper torso, but they weren't exactly making "Hard Rock Cafe" T-shirts in ancient Rome, were they?

Actually, in one form or another probably they were. But there's no place on the body more conspicuous than the forehead -- as many a hung over freshman has learned the next day. Write something up there, and people gonna notice.

Katie's very permanent case in point.

In the ancient world, the forehead was used as a signpost for social and religious position. Usually this was not a good thing -- you're a social outcast? Mark on the forehead. You've got leprosy? Mark on the forehead. Scabs on your forehead? Same difference -- all social forms of saying "Do not enter." "Do not approach." "This guy is super lame." (Or, the Glee version: "Somebody Slushie me.")

The key to the forehead, as Andreas Andreapolous writes in his good book The Sign of the Cross (which is my guide on the topic), is this: the outside gives a glimpse of the inside. What you see on my forehead tells you something about who I am and how I am spiritually within -- dirty, clean, etc..

So, pox on my forehead -- sick at heart.

Sign of the cross on my forehead -- a Christian!

Tomorrow: What happened then?