Hair, identity, science, soul

No More Tears

For too much of my life I’ve tangled with the will of my own hair, not understanding the metaphor or symbolism.

I was fighting myself.

And fighting against the willfulness (translation: domination) of the parent from whom I inherited my curls. And the parent I didn’t.

My father’s hair was black and wavy with a few tiny spirals at the neck, little springs like in ball point pens.

My mother’s hair was fine and red and stick straight.

I lived trying to fit in. It was much more than “curly hair wasn’t in style back then.” It was: “you can’t exist.” It was: “do not exist.”

It was expressed as: “What’s wrong with your hair?” and trying not to laugh when they asked the question.

My hair was a perpetual field the hidden messages were played on. I had no conscious understanding but my deeper consciousness understood perfectly.

Unruly hair was easier.

It became a project.

I became a project.

My curls are uniformly non-uniform. They fall beneath my shoulders but are much longer when wet and hang to the middle of my chest. To my breasts. Which, for me, is significant. It’s the meaning, the femininity that my hair represents, speaking boldly when I think I can’t. Touching my heart. The center of my being.

A silent reminder.

And a loud one, though very quiet.

The femininity, the self—my Self—often felt wild and untamed and misunderstood.

I learned early not to “like” my hair because others didn’t “like” it.

Symbolism. Metaphor.

Tangling and tussling. Snarling. Fighting. So much time spent defying and managing and trying to make my hair conform. I’ve grown to love the tresses that for years made me cry. It’s not that my hair is ever perfect, but finally learning to see and yield to the insides of me first is the perfect metaphor for what I want most today. Finally learning the painful and beautiful truth that what is the root of me is forever impossible to deny. Lessons as numerous and individual as each curl.

Metaphor. Symbolism.