One day when I was on Easter Island, I hiked into its
roadless back-country. There I discovered hundreds of basalt
heads, toppled and broken, just as warriors had left them
from the civil war. And I found it almost impossible not to
peer under the great blocks, try to find a nose or mouth.
The back of a stone head is stone, but its face is life itself.
Faces surround me as I write. Nearby sits a wooden Easter
Island head, carved by the sculptor whose family hosted me
there. I have a Maori relief of two lovers? Tattooed faces,
and a Carnival mask from Venice, too opulent to wear. But
best of all is the photo of my wife Rosalind, who peeks out
from behind a jungle frond in Hawaii. It captures not only
her splendid face, but a moment of her mind, a mix of
curiosity, uncertainty, and delight. Her look is
inexpressible but instantly recognizable, and for me this
face is more than life itself.
Daniel McNeill is a bestselling author and winner of the Los
Angeles Times Book Prize for The Face. Mr. McNeill is the
principal author of Fuzzy Logic, which won the 1992-93 Los
Angeles Times Book Prize for Science and Technology. He has
written numerous other books and articles on high
technology, and his work has also appeared in fiction,
travel, history, law, and education publications. He lives
in Southern California.
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Books:The Face, July 2000