Friday, June 13, 2014

In your Eyes...

photo credit: Jesse Michener

I took the clippers out again.
No plastic colored guard attached, just the silver metal blade looking like little teeth along the edge.
I don't feel anything like I did the last time.
I feel calm, like this is easy to do.
The $100 cut and color job falls in chunks as I make wide stripes down my head, taking out what is left of my hair.
It's barely hanging on- like I used to be, so I simply set it free.
My head is perfectly shaped, as if it longed to be bald.
I set myself free.
I will no longer be taking handfuls of my hair out of the drain.
I took all the bottles of spray and jars of hair products, so many products, off the shelf.
I gave the wig products prominent space.
I feel myself filling up, not needing hair anymore.
Sure, I'll welcome it back if it decides to return, but this is me now.
When I look at myself in the mirror:
bald head
blue eyes
slight spattering of freckles,
Maybe for the first time.
Maybe this is a GIFT.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Famous Lemon Bars...

Tomorrow an essay I wrote called "Anatomy of a Lemon Bar" will be featured on Mamalode. It's a huge deal for me in terms of being "published" like for real but an even bigger deal that my mom's lemon bar recipe will be featured as well. It's like we wrote it together.
Waterbury, VT, March 2012

Please come visit me at Mamlode tomorrow and take a peek at the other wonderful writers and the words that heal us all.  It is in telling our stories that we connect to one another.  It is one of the greatest gifts of our lives.  It's so simple.  Our stores and our words connect us to complete strangers.  

It is no coincidence that I begin Week Eight of The Artist's Way tomorrow and the theme is "Recovering a Sense of Strength."  Every. Damn. Day.  Can't. stop. Won't. Stop.

Thank you for listening, reading and supporting me.
They are the highest acts of love and accept them with joyful gratitude.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Who I am...

Who I am is a head full of strawberry blonde hair.
Who I am is growing my hair out long, longer, longest for my wedding day.
Who I am is a short sassy pixie cut bleached blonde.
Who I am is a baseball cap worn over a scarf when I go running.
Who I am is a fedora worn to a party.
Who I am is a big floppy hat worn to the beach on a summer day.
Who I am is shame and fear and rage as the drain once again fills up with my hair.
Who I am is holding a mirror to see the giant bald spot on the right side of my head.
Who I am is remembering.
Who I am is crying tears shed over the same condition.  We can call it chronic now.
Who I am is home highlight kits and sun-in.
Who I am is trips to to the salon: cuts, texturizing, high and low lights.
Who I am is products that line my shower and fill my drawers: soy paste, pomade, sprays, gels, shine.
They mock me now.  Unnecessary when you wear a wig.
Who I am is googling alopecia and searching for a magic pill.
I'll swallow it, rub it on my head, smoke it, eat it, roll my body in it.
I'll drive across country for it, sell my soul again for it.

I read aloud in a room filled with like-minded souls. We call ourselves artists.
I shared my story, believing I was on the other side of it.  You can be brave when you think it's over.
I smiled and cried and felt outer body.
I told you it didn't fucking matter.
Is my story still valid?
I swallow the pills, blue and white, several times per day.  I can't help but wonder if they help or harm me.

What would this world look like if hair didn't define a person? Or clothes? Or the size of your nose or whiteness of your teeth? Or the shape of your ass or thighs?
What if when you looked at me or I looked at you, I'd SEE you...See through to your heart and hear your story?
Only bad ass bitches have the balls to shave their head.

I pick up the remains and silently glue them back onto my head.
They morph and change and move back into place where each strand will remain.
I am looking in the mirror and I look normal.
What the hell does "normal" look like?
I've fought against "normal" my whole life, but get real, that's all anyone wants to be.