Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I cut my hair. It's the shortest it's ever been since before I was 10 and my mother would insist on cutting my hair ... even through my wailings. If you could have seen how my mother cut hair, bangs especially, you'd understand why I wailed. Her bang-cut had a tendency to be one length on one side of the face and then become shorter towards the other side. I always felt I looked like a xylophone.

This recent cut was done professionally. My new stylist had been going shorter and shorter with my hair even though I kept saying to her longer and longer ... a bit of a deja vu with my mother. I finally asked her why she was insisting on giving me short hair? Her response was "Mary, I think you've had the same hair style for a very long time and I'd just like to see you go with something different." This was a pretty good answer, she was right.

Jim loved my long hair. Whenever I would tell him I'd be going to get my hair done he would say "she's not going to cut it too short is she?" And when I would return he would check first for the length. I was OK with this, I'm a long haired kind of gal. Plus I wanted to be attractive to the most important person in my life, so I made sure to keep all styles on the longer side.

Now, there is no one at home to critique this cut. No one to bemoan this new, short, spiky hair. I feel I've stepped into a bit of a transformation by doing this. Split the chrysalis down the back and started a tiny bit of shedding. An act of defiance as well as independence. The great thing is, and maybe this just comes with age, but I forget about the hair. I don't see the world any differently so I forget that others see me looking differently now. "Wow! You cut your hair!" Oh right, yup, I did. I remember a time when my hair and how it looked could be incredibly traumatic; running into the bedroom after my first perm unable to show myself in public for several hours.

Buddhist nuns shave their heads. Female friends of ours challenged this practice years ago when they were going on a retreat. They were told that too much ego is wrapped up in the hair and thus everyone attending the retreat, including the women, needed to shave their heads. I think about that a lot. It's true, there is a great deal of ego wrapped up in how our hair looks, for most women anyway. We can spend a great deal of time in front of a mirror getting the hair to look just right. Well, mine doesn't take much time now and looks pretty different to me. Although I'm not wild about it, I like the act I took for this change. But, I admit, it's taking some getting use to.

I think I'm already in the process of growing it out ....

Loving you all back,


  1. Until it grows out, I'll just call you Xyla. That's Greek for "wood," actually. A xylophone is a "woodsound."

  2. Courage ~ you have it in spades, dear. Sometimes having the hair cut is indeed a way to say to the outside world and ourselves ~ I am not the same.
    I send you my love.

  3. Hannah ... I just might be a "wood sound". I like that.

    Rosemary ... it does indeed feel like a big change and one I'm dealing with far better then ever before - in terms of a hair cut that is. Must be a bit of "I don't really care" thrown in. New wings in some ways.

    Love you gals!