Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Your holy grail? I am loving this medieval sun dress. I love the interplay of orange, mustard, brown and light blue and these jaunty faceless women and one-eyed courtiers. I love the comic book tension marks surrounding the head of the armored knight. And the pockets. I even love the orange band along the bottom, even though it looks like someone ran out of fabric.

It would look darling on you.

Lately I've been working on a new piece, struggling over the dialogue and hearing snatches of something in my head that I thought was worthwhile. I came up with a line or two and got this expansive feeling, like I was really onto something, but that I didn't have it quite right. And then I was listening to NPR yesterday, and realized the sad truth. What was floating around in my brain was actually half-remembered poem by Elizabeth Bishop. Perhaps it's better to have Ms. Bishop whispering in my subconscious, than say, I dunno, Jaqueline Suzann or Joseph Stalin. Or is it? Anywho, since it's percolating in the old noodle, I shall reproduce it for you here:

One Art
by Elizabeth Bishop

The art of losing isn't hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother's watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn't a disaster.

--Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan't have lied. It's evident
the art of losing's not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

Well, there you have it, goslings. Yeah, what she said. And, gosh darnit, I believe this is a villanelle.

Latest, in the list of current loses and annoyances, my hair has begun to desert me in handfuls. And I had made it a point to sport an unapologetic Jew 'fro even during the tyranny of the 90s stick-straight hair. No amount of product could tame it, so I just let it do as it likes. You wouldn't think that wearing one's hair au naturel is an act of civil disobedience, but it was interpreted that way. In the end, I had to embrace the defiance of it.

Just as one example (there are many):I worked a job 6 or 7 years ago where someone would leave brochures about chemical hair straightening on my chair everytime I went to lunch. Since I was Just a Temp, I felt I couldn't exactly call the ACLU on them. But at the risk of sounding like Seinfeld's Uncle Leo, it smacks of Anti-Semitism. I mean, no one was leaving info about perms on the chairs of straight-haired goyishe persons, nu? No one said to those with flat hair: you'd better perk up that limp hair if you want to work here. And why is straight hair the default professional style? And why is a Jew 'fro or, perhaps even more saliently, an Afro considered inappropriate for work?

And so my hair, friend, foe and by default advocate for diversity and hair acceptance, is giving up the good fight. As it abandons me what I'm left with is a lot more demure. I've had a scalp biopsy (ouch!), and most likely it was just stress that caused it and before long I'll be 'fro-ing about yet again. But regrowth is process that involves patience, especially with very curly hair.

I'd like to say I'm handling it stoically, but alas. I even snapped at Akhenaten this morning, which was entirely unfair. I mean, truly, a more Jew-loving Egyptian could not be found.


Blogger tea said...

Oh dear! I'm sorry about your hair!
(I happen to very much love Jewfros, by the way. It's that whole "grass is greener" type of thing.)

I lost something recently, too (my job), so this poem was apropos.

7:47 AM  
Blogger midafternoonsnack said...

I'm sorry to hear about your hair too! I personally think that the season is to blame. Studies show that humans, like all mammals, shed lots more in the early spring before summer.

10:57 AM  
Blogger samsara said...

Thanks so much Ms. Tea, and Ms. Midafternoonsnack for your words of encouragement.

Ms. Tea: So sorry to hear about your job! I hope something more fun and better paying falls in your lap soon.

Ms. Midafternoonsnack: At first I thought it was just a change of the season, but alas. I'll know more next week when I get the test results.

2:22 PM  

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