Thank you, blow dryer heating element, for dying as I was getting ready to go to the DMV:
You reminded me to slow down and enjoy a cool breeze (on every setting).
You offered the illusion that I had lots of hair to dry.
You laughed at my vanity.
You protected the delicate balance of the universe by ensuring that the ancient tradition of unfortunate driver's license photos continues.
14 May 2013
11 January 2013
Brutal day, excellent day. A serious climb. There's so much to say, but I feel deeply quiet now at the end of it all. More tomorrow, maybe.
But there is this: Thanks, Diane O., for praying to keep me safe on the road to Salt Lake and back. I'm giving you some of the credit for the fact that our meeting was canceled and we didn't have travel, but instead were able to join our incredible neighbors at the temple. Way to represent, Diane!
I'm going to my sleep tonight grateful for love, and for the renewal of my belief that no one is forgotten. Not a soul at any time or in any place is forgotten. All are known by name and by heart, and loved.
The rest can wait. Goodnight.
10 January 2013
09 January 2013
08 January 2013
The Holy Scriptures describe God's children as sheep--lost, found, wandering, black, etc.--but I've always related more to goats.
Apparently, some goats identify with other species. Not sure where that leaves me.
So, I wasn't planning an extension of yesterday's hair piece (ahem)--it was just a whim to snap and post those silly shots--but I got quite a few comments on Facebook, either in favor of my would-be shaved head or in the true spirit of nix. I wasn't implying that I'd look great with an all-out buzz. Frankly, I've got the wrong head shape for such a 'do (or should that be a 'don't?). I'm sure of this because I study bald heads. Also, I'm not in pursuit of making a statement. Plus, it's the coldest winter I've ever known in Utah, and that causes me to want to stay as well-insulated as possible.
Sure, a 100% committed buzz cut is something I've always wanted to try, for the experience. Hair is wonderful but awful too in a way. I itch to ditch the vanity and fuss of it all and see what it's like to be temporarily free of the stuff, with the option of course to quickly grow it back, through all its painful transitional stages. (Oof!) Admit it--haven't you also been curious about what it would be like to be perfectly streamlined? What, no? Really?
I could wear a wig. Is that weird? My mom and grandmother played around with wigs. Big tall beehives back in the day. Wiglets. And giant hats. Stuffed hats. Turbans. Headwear. I could love that stuff too. You've missed out on a lot of fun if you haven't gone with your girlfriends to either a wig shop or a hat shop or both and tried on some outrageous looks. You don't have to shave your hair off to enjoy that either. But what if it was critical and you had no hair, and you weren't just funnin'? Would you go for a demure natural look, or would you try for electric attention?
What I didn't bring up (or even intend to) yesterday, but some of you already know, is that from time to time I have to deal with bouts of alopecia areata, or as I call them, crop circles. It's an auto-immune disorder connected to nothing else, at least not so far as any doctors can tell. When it flares up, it takes my hair out in patches. Sometimes the patches are small and occur in places where they don't create too many problems... unless you consider the treatments I receive as problematic. I get shots. Lots and lots and lots of shots, a syringe poked repeatedly into my head. My thin trusting scalp! Is that a problem for you? Hurts me like Murder. I become Dr. B.'s human voodoo dolly.
It's been, what, two years since the last circles filled back in? I can't remember. But I was beginning to get really comfortable and believe that maybe my body had decided to be finished attacking itself. But, nope. I had a flare up last fall and it's gotten worse and worse. I now have a strong line of crop circles crossing me like a headband; it's odd the way it's organized. I think it is some kind of sign to aliens and my abduction must be imminent. The crop circles are deconstructing me and claiming acreage quickly. Already the holes like to shine out from beneath my locks, and I keep having to move my part so I don't scare the neighbors. If it keeps going this way, pretty soon the crop circles will give me a new and freakish hairline. I'm not eager for that.
So, you see, sometimes I just want to beat this thing to the punch. Fine, alopecia, you want to eat my hair? Then I'll shave it off and deny you the pleasure. Or something like that. I don't want to lose my hair, especially after the great bob I got before the holidays, but I'm getting tired of fretting and waiting.
There's also the knowing I have that when my hair does finally begin to grow back, it will come in like a prickly crown, exactly where the cursed empty headband is right now! Oh, that will be a special time. It'll be what I call a real bob-killer. I will have no use for Shep Salon. At that point, either no hair or a micro-'do will be the only styling options that will make sense.
Or, hats and scarves and turbans and wigs. Here we are again.
To buzz or not to buzz? And when? Those are the questions.
I don't want to be stymied by setbacks. There's necessary recovery time involved after every disappointment, but one of my life's intentions is to never let myself become stuck in dissatisfaction or regret. If a cake falls, I shake my fist but then I cube up its good parts, layer it with whipped cream in a pretty dish, and serve an unapologetic trifle. The oven breaks, so I learn to make stovetop breads good enough to keep on making them once the repairman comes. (Mary, the recipe is coming, just for you.) These are little ways to practice making graceful identity shifts.
It's tougher with the personal bits and pieces of me. If I am seized with a depression and my spirit sinks low, it's harder to figure out how to make the emotional equivalent of trifle, though I'm always testing recipes. If I lose my hair, no matter now much I've claimed in the past to want to disentangle myself (ahem) from vanity, how do I compensate, and who am I then? I mean, what if this time it doesn't grow back, or what if the disorder takes the whole lot (it can happen)? Yeah, it's only attacking my looks (and perhaps my body temperature), but I would be a big liar if I said I didn't care about that.
It's not about a temporary buzz cut. It's not even about alopecia. It's about identity. Who am I? Who do I think I am? What will I do and who will I be if what I'd planned for or just assumed would happen falls through? Maybe ultimately it's not about identity either, but it's about patience and a willingness to do, rather than be.
I may be onto something, or I may have just talked myself into a nonsense corner. I think I ought to take a vacation from my own thoughts for a while, maybe watch some Netflix.
Anyway, I hope that if I'm a goat, I can be glad of whatever voice comes out of me, and if I make chicken sounds and others laugh, I hope I can laugh with them. If aliens abduct all my hair, not just long enough for a few strange haircuts, but for good, and my eyebrows too, I hope I can get some kicks out of wearing a wild wig and snatching it off by turns to startle the general public. I hope I can knit myself some fabulous options. I hope I can afford to commission some artist to landscape my head like a brave new world.
|From: Hair is for Pulling|
|From: Hair is for Pulling|