Wednesday, September 26, 2012

it's all uncharted


If you have curly hair, you are forced to rely on the providence of God.

Each day when I wake up and look in the mirror at the rat's nest that my hair morphed into during the night, it is the beginning of a daily exercise in surrendering to the phrase: not my will, but yours be done. 

If I curl my hair to perfection, and then walk outside into 89% humidity, all my human handiwork will be rendered bootless; my hair will whither away into flat, Medusa-like strands. These pigeon-livered ringlets cowardly give up the fight to stay curled, and instead just fall limply from my head, surrendering to the atmospheric moisture and heat.

And don't even get me started on blow-drying hair. For some reason, if I move from one room to the next, the infinitesimally tiny barometric differences in air pressure and humidity, and/or the temperature of the blow-dryer will render drastically different results each time.
 My hair either looks like a swarm of angry bees is living in it, or like I just walked out of a Vogue magazine.

So usually, I just brush it, take a card from our pal Willow and whip it back and forth, and then step out into the Great Outdoors. I take nothing with me on my day's journey : no hairspray, nor straightener, nor gel, nor headband, nor mousse--not even an extra ponytail. I send my hair out into the villages and simply trust that in the end all will be well and all will be well and all manner of things shall be well.

Throughout the day, the mirrors I encounter are a constant reminder that events are going on inside and about and above and below and all around me that are beyond my control. One of these reminders consists of 100,000 hairs attached to the top of my head. Some nights, after a long day of adventure, I look in the mirror and marvel at the fact that each hair is perfectly in place, and the waves of chestnut silk are falling just so, creating something miraculous. Something beautiful has been formed out of my obstinate, unruly curls.
But some nights, as I check back in with the mirror, I think that I could use some straight hair for a change. 


Each day, as I exit the door, I embrace the possibility that my hair may end up looking monstrous or divine. And ultimately, I'm not in control of that. I can only do my best to prepare my hair for the ravages of weather that the day will bring.

"And as far as faiths go, Christianity is decidedly Tookish. When Christ summoned those early disciples, urging them to exchange their fishing nets for greater, bolder tasks, the disciples responded with a mix of curiosity and courage."

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