Sunday, January 31, 2016

Hair by Hair

This morning my hair is still as sproingy as it was yesterday afternoon after I'd cut it in front of the bathroom mirror.

It's weird: in the three years I've had long hair, its texture has changed. It became grayer, and while I'd heard that gray hair is coarser, I'd never much noticed. 
A little, I had:
My hair feels crunchy is not something I'd thought in my first fifty years.

Now I'm like a chicken with a horsehair crest. 
It's OK--it's even kind of cute. It's just a small shock.

These small(ish) physical changes that come with age feel like gentle preparation for the Big Change, like pop quizzes forewarn of the final exam:
when I'm dying, I can't say, "Wait! I had no inkling this was coming!"
My body is shutting down in all sorts of little ways. (Some of them are even welcome: I never minded much, but I sure don't miss bleeding every month.)

I woke up thinking that Verlyn Klinkenborg and Anne Lamott, authors of otherwise different books on writing, both agree that writing is the act of putting down one sentence, and then another. 
And so on.
That's even the idea behind the name of Lamott's book Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, as you may know: 
her little brother was freaking out about writing a report on birds due the next day, and her father said, "take it bird by bird." 

I haven't read Bird in years, but I thank it and Natalie Goldberg's Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within for encouraging me to write.

                                 Goldberg, via [Her hair… it's supple.]

Bones was important to me in my twenties. 
Now I wonder if I'd find it annoying in the opposite way from VK's Several Short Sentences about Writing:
she assuming you are wounded and writing is healing; 
he assuming you can tough out his Princeton condescension.

He's crunchy gray hair, she's crunchy granola. 
Neither is funny, much--it's serious business.


Zhoen said...

I wonder what made you think about Calvin and his spiky hair...

Fresca said...

Good catch! (I missed it myself.)