This week in Yetzirah the Nitzanimers began what will be a series of self-portraits. The first kind of self-portrait we worked on did not utilize mirrors or photographs for referring to. Instead, we closed our eyes and created an image in our head of what we think our face looks like. At first this was tricky, but soon we developed strategies for remembering the shape of our face, placement of our eyes, size of our nose, curliness or straightness of our hair, etc.
One Nitzanimer suggested using our yad to “feel our features”, scan the face of the placement of our eyes. She said: “It’s not exactly pokeach ivrim. It’s seeing with your hand. Blind people have to do that. It’s one of the 5 senses.” Here in the picture another Nitzanimer takes her advice by feeling for his peh (mouth) then counting his teeth! We all got a kick out of his desire to be precise in this self-portrait!
After all was said and done, even considering the challenges, this Nitzanimer sounded proud of his work: “This is the best self-portrait I’ve ever done! I mean it!”
“Even though it doesn’t look exactly like me, I still like it.”
Next week, a new challenge awaits us in the subject of self-portraits. But for now, it’s pretty fascinating how we see ourselves while others may perceive us differently. Its “sort of like pokeach ivrim” indeed!