Thursday, August 30, 2012

TNH-- Unfinished, Letting Go

 I decided to go with the two alternative themes of unfinished and letting go this week, instead of the primary theme of bridges.  I live in Saint Louis, so between the Missouri and Mississipi Rivers, I have MANY choices for bridges.  For the most part, though, they accomodate trains and cars.  That can be a tad challenging, and chancy for someone without a vehicle.

Plus, that meant getting to a river.  I'm doing the decapitated chicken MARATHON right now (as opposed to my typical jig), so I'm simplifying and minimizing whereever possible(a).  Yeah, I'm being literal.  Bite me.  :p

And be warned, this reads more like a blog entry than a TNH this week. 

Let's start with the letting go theme.  We all have times of stress.  We all know that letting it go would benefit us, but it's often easier said than done.  Even if you're regularly excersizing, eating right, and doing all the little things that yogis and physicians alike teach us will help lower stress, sometimes it isn't enough.  There's the intro.  Here's the segue---

In many cultures there are symbolic and ritual ways to release things that harm us, or that no longer serve us in a positive way.  Habits, addictions, emotions, etc etc etc.  Part and parcel to this is signalling a change, moving on to a new phase if you will.  One of these methods involves the cutting of one's hair.  Historically, Roman Catholic nuns we shorn clean upon taking their final vows.  Many reasons for that but the example is a good one.  Even today when people enter boot camp in the US miltary, all men get a military haircut.  Beyond the rational of convenience/cleanliness, it signals the beginning of their service.  It separates them from the general population, their time before enlistment, and creates a bond among their fellow service personel. 

I wear my hair short, mostly for convenience.  I work.  I commute via mass transit.  I go to school.  Every minute NOT spent on hair care is another minute spent sleeping or something else.  I am blessed to have very thick, healthy hair. And a LOT of it. Any person who has ever cut it (and there are many, since I go to the bargain places these days) remarks upon it. I warn them to set aside extra time for me. ;) A good hairdo goes a LONG way towards helping me feel presentable.  But I also hate having my hair on my neck or in my face.  When it was still long, 95% of the time it was back in a ponytail or in a French braid.  I don't really see the point in having long hair when I wasn't doing anything with it.  Another reason I keep it short.  Plus I save a lot of money on shampoo and conditioner.

One challenge of short hair, is that you have to keep on top of it.  Especially if the cut looks awful when not maintained.  Last December I managed to get a FANTASTIC cut.  Haven't gotten it quite back there, sadly, but I'm mostly able to tell the gals what I want.  As it grows out, it continues to look decent for about an inch to inch and a half.  It's one of those styles that needs very little work.  With next to no effort it's everyday casual.  With some gel I can look ready to go clubbing.  With a round brush and some time I can look very classy, ready for a formal event.  LOVE IT.

front view, tucked, December 2011

front view, messy/fun

side view, partially pulled-up

I apologize for the poor photo quality. These were taken with an older phone. I keep these to show the stylists to give them an idea what I want. It grew out BEAUTIFULLY. I let it go a little bit longer than I should, but as you can see, it was still manageable in mid March, just before I got a cut.

taken by a friend with his professional grade camera, quite the difference, huh?
and yes, that is my natural color.  and it was full of sweat, so not quite right.  I am blessed.  :D

I think by now everyone realizes my point-- I am overdue for a haircut. This is what I looked like earlier yesterday (Weds):

horrible lighting.  the shape is overgrown, so not cut well to begin with.  And, as I got a little more skilled blocking out my face, I decided to have a little fun.

But I'm not done talking.  :D  There are some cultures that consider it a great sign of trust to leave a physical part of yourself with someone.  By this I mean a lock of hair, fingernail, or even bit of blood.  Even today there are some spiritual paths that use these items for magic, spell-working and the like.

I know this to be true, because I am one of them.

Now ethics, belief, and stereotyping aside-- I DO know people who refuse to let strangers cut their hair.  Both in everyday American society, and among more shamanistic peoples in North America (whether they be of Native American decent or not)  Personally, I have no fear of someone stealing m hair to work their negative will against me.  Most of the time, I leave my hair at the salon, though sometimes I take it with me and put it in my garden.

I stopped at the crash pad quickly yesterday afternoon to get a bite to eat before heading to the salon.  Only to have my hostess stumble in ill, and promptly fall on her bad knee.  SO I spent last night helping her and didn't get my hair cut.  DAMNIT.  Earliest I can get to it is Saturday.

Why is this so important to me?  Well, I'm having a difficult time right now.  After a cut I can feel the tangible difference when I run my fingers through my hair.  I can see the change in the mirror.  My intent was to take my hair with me.  So that in my hand, I'd have evidence of something that had changed.  Something that I wanted would have gotten accomplished.  Something that makes ME feel better.

Evidently, the unfinished bit of this week will last longer than anticipated.

So this weekend, I am committing to myself to get a trim and do as previously intended.  When I sit in the chair (and who doesn't love the endorphin rush you get from someone messing around up there) I'll focus on letting myself relax.  Releasing what I can, and enjoying the physical sensations.  I haven't yet decided WHAT to do with the cuttings, but whenever/whenever I do cast it from me I will do so with conscious intent.  Prayers for better things and the removal of that which hurts me.  Prayers that the myriad of things currently in flux, and very UNfinished might move towards completion.

But on the FINISHED side of things, I did shave my legs.  :D

before I thinned the forest.  chainsaws are our friends  ;)

Shameless plug/bitching and moaning-- I'm currently without permanent address.  I'm bouncing around on different friends' couches living out of a bag.  My things are in storage and my dog is 3 hours away with my parents.  I had to get out of a very dangerous housing situation very quickly.  SOOOOO I'm a little stressed.  Prayers and positive energies directed my way would be GREATLY appreciated.


  1. great post, loved reading it. i used to subscribe to the belief that my power was in my long hair, but my hair gets too curly and scraggly and unmanageable the longer it gets, so i had to shave it off...and now i am powerless forever

    peace :)

  2. Wow! Such a thoughtful, deeply personal post. Your reasons for having short hair are incredibly sensible and admittedly something that hadn't occurred to me - though my hair is relatively short and I don't spend very much time getting it presentable. Jill, on the other hand...

    Sorry about your dangerous housing situation, but I'm very glad you're no longer in it. Sending some positive thoughts to you!


  3. Phoenix-- is that your way of letting us know that your given name is Sampson? ;)

    Jack-- thanks. I didn't think it was overly personal, but ok. Annoyed by some of the typos, and one really poorly written bit.

    To Clarify--- I practice an earth religion that uses 'sympathetic majic'. That is what I meant when I said "I am one of them"

  4. I keep my hair short these days for maintenance reasons as well. Taz hates it, but he's not the one who had to deal with bad hair days and trying to find different ways to style it.

    ~Kazi xxx

  5. Kzai--- I feel VERY strongly that lovers/partners should have very little say when it comes to the hair on a person's head. Like you said, he doesn't have to deal with bad hair days and styling. Some hairstyles are low maintanence but look aweful. By that I mean, long-hair can be very easy to deal with, but washing/conditioning/drying takes forever. And if you don't look good with hair back or down? There are all kinds of combos for maintanence, convenience, length, style time, etc. I don't know many women, personally, who have time for high maintanence hair.

    I know some who choose to make time for it, but that is for THEM, not their lover/partner.

    And if a person's hairstyle is REALLY that big of a deal to the partner, then there are other problems in my not so humble opinion.

    This is one of those times when I can brag on my dad. My mother gets her hair colored every two weeks like clockwork. Has for probably 20 years now. If he knew how much it COST he'd be disturbed, but he wouldn't nag. It is the ONE THING she has consistently done for herself, and made time for herself on, in 20 years. He won't begrudge her that. And my mom has been with her stylist for almost all of those 20 years, right after she got out of beauty school. so she gets a discount.

    IDK if my dad prefer's my mom's hair longer. She cut it about ten years ago and now wears it very short. It saves time and makes her life easier. It was pretty much in a braid constantly for 5 years or more. So here's the REAL bragging--- first time I'd significantly cut my hair short in forever (I was almost 21) I came home fromt he beauty parlor. I asked my 17 year old brother what he thought.

    Without really looking and very neutrally he said, it's fine. When I asked him for a REAL opinion, he replied that our father had told him that no matter WHAT his opinion, he was to tell me that he liked it and it looked good.

    My mom found a winner! :D