Due to the Covid 19 Pandemic…
I have a poster on my wall that was rescued from the recycle bin in the Park. It was a misprint. The words disappear halfway through the word pandemic, half letters opening onto a large open field of white space, inviting comment.
I’ve been using the space to collect the gems of what’s been happening this spring.
Due to the Covid 19 Pandemic, Scout has hummingbirds nesting in her garage.
Due to the Covid 19 Pandemic, Scout has discovered the powerful resonance of the crystal bowls when placed on her heavy glass coffee table.
Due to the Covid 19 Pandemic, Scout is now surprised and delighted every time she catches her reflection in a mirror.
I am not a person who enjoys spending time getting ready. I like to have things taken care of, or get things taken care of, so I can be out the door when adventure calls. No time to waste. Daylight is burning, the horses are stamping their feet impatiently, there’s adventure to be had. “A lick and a promise” was always the best phrase to capture my relationship with my hair as I was headed out the door.
From as early as I can remember, my hair only got attention when it bothered me. As a youngster and into my mid twenties, I had long hair worn in a single braid. Easy peasey. As a young mother, then professional business woman, I suppose I began thinking I needed to do a little more with my hair. It got shorter and shorter over the years of trying to be more professional, more fashionable, more in line.
Eventually, it got short enough that every six weeks it got too long. Never quite right, a royal pain in the ass, actually. Holding me up.
My hairdressers got used to my last minute texts – Help!! Save me from shaving my head!! Can you get me in quick??
So, in the time of Covid, my chance came to me.
It was startling how downright scary it was. What a very, very big deal this simple thing was.
I thought, “Well, it’s OK, I don’t have clients that I won’t not look professional for.”
I thought, “It’s OK. I’m home alone, I can wear a cap.”
I thought, “It’s OK. It’s OK.”
But standing there holding the borrowed clippers, looking in the mirror, my young friend Debi cheering me on, standing ready to repair any unmitigated disaster I might create,
It was NOT OK to a lot of me.
Fear. Eagerness. Trepidation. Terror.
Practically a panic attack.
Voices screaming inside.
Woah, wait, really?? No!
I put the clippers to my head.
I hear the sound of the sharp blades buzz through.
It’s done. It’s begun. Nowhere to go but forward.
And no desire to do anything but continue, drawn forward through all of time by the sound and feel of that buzz.
The difference between getting a good solid bite, with the satisfying wholeness of it all, or the disappointing pale sound of the clippers missing the mark, gliding off the hair with no bite.
The masterful feeling of cutting a long professional stroke from front to rear, just above my ears.
The sound of the feeling, the feeling of the sound.
I knew in that moment I had been hungry for this all my life.
The feeling and sound of that buzz on my head.
I knew so much in that moment.
Watching and hearing my brother getting his head buzzed by our father.
Wanting to feel that sound.
Wanting to feel the vibration on my own scalp. Yearning to be the one under those clippers.
YEARNING to feel what that felt like.
No. You’re a girl.
The full stop of everything, in 1958. The list too long to cover, of what was allowed to a girl, or to a boy. Better be one or the other.
And yet here I am, at the other end of my history, facing myself in the mirror. Girl? Boy? Neither? Both?
The feeling is as remarkable as I imagined, and the result, for my whole system, is
Suddenly, I got my hair right.
It’s just right. It’s SO just right, in fact, that it has disappeared from my thinking. Just gone. A non-issue, a non-thought.
I am complete with my hair.
Feeling equally complete with my gender. Seeing clearly now, my absolute lack of interest in a question that has been so central in this life of mine.
It was not ever the real question, not really ever MY question, anyway.
It is a gift from the time and space held by Covid…
Due to the Covid 19 Pandemic Scout has had time to find her footing and see her truth: The questions she has been trying to answer all her life “Am I enough? Do I even want this thing which is a girl thing, or deserve that which belongs to the boys, am I an imposter, will I be punished…”
…are simply distractions keeping her stuck.
They are not her questions. She can finally let them go, peacefully and completely.
All she wants to be is here. And that is what she is and has always been, anyway.
Engaging. Participating in the adventure.
Delighted and surprised all over again, whenever she happens to pass a mirror.
2 comments on “Shave”
How wonderful, you always refresh my spirit! Big love!
Hi Scout. I’ve been “saving” this to read since I saw the initial post on FB. I knew I wanted to have focused time to spend with your essay, that it would be special. Indeed! I’m so glad to hear of your journey, all the emotions, your completion. What a wonderful word, completion. We could have quite an interesting discussion about “hair,” since I came from a family of five home economists (Mom and three older sisters) and the all-important thing, among MANY, was to fix your hair each and every night and morning. I slept on brush rollers every night from 5th grade until there was some new kind of painful nighttime roller to where thereafter. I won’t go on, but wanted you to know that I am in awe of your completion. I am in my own metamorphosis with what my ‘hair’ means to ME or what is just a remnant that I no longer need. I’m in the process of discovery, certainly aided by Covid 19! Last winter I told my hair cutter that I so wanted to just shave my head and wear a stocking cap. Enough of it! She suggested that summer would be the time to try that move. Then the shops closed down! 🙂 Thanks for your great sharing here, Scout!