Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Chastened Inspiration

I'm not one for prevailing methods of primping--
daily hair-styling, make up, and hot oil treatments
have always seemed, to me, a waste of time and effort.
I have my own sense of winsomeness, my own
habits and ways of enhancing my outward strengths
that don't include padding the pockets of Paul Mitchell,
Ulta, Mac, and Chi.

But now and again, I get inspired to experiment
with tools and treatments unfamiliar to me,
by nobody's fault but my own:

You'd think coconut oil is coconut oil,
but you'd be wrong. I learned the hard way
as I meticulously massaged coconut oil
scented vaseline into my scalp, enthusiastically ensured
the petroleum jelly reached every hair follicle from the source
outward, down the shaft length of every hair,
to the very split ends I was resolved to address.

Ten washes later (six with dish soap),
I'm finally feeling a little less like a duck in an oil slick.
My hair is more than a little worse for wear,
my inspiration for beauty treatments chastened.

Monday, April 15, 2013


No one warns a woman about the quiet
milestones--less celebrated than Double Digits,
Sweet Sixteen, Twenty-One, and the year 
our insurance payments decrease dramatically,
magically with the turning of a quarter-century.
The Silent Others we don't mark until they're behind,
sometimes years gone--
the passage from Maiden to Matron;
the moments that sneak up behind and whisper
"You've missed your youth." Your washboard belly,
your innocence gone for good, but you don't remember 
ever having fully appreciated that form of beauty.
You spent an inordinate amount of time shamefacedly
focusing on your spindly naivete until you found yourself
entrenched in this new form of loveliness.
You'd better get cracking learning to believe this frame
and faltering wisdom are desirable in whatever forms
you need to be found desirable.
What a loss to waste this time, find yourself
silently, irretrievably lost; tenuously alien again.

George MacDonald

"Home is ever so far away in the palm of your hand, and how to get there it is of no use to tell you. But you will get there; you must get there; you have to get there. Everybody who is not at home, has to go home."

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