April 15, 2017 (Saturday)

by Yule Heibel on April 14, 2018

Back to the “old” routine for the weekend – meditation, then writing. Later, maybe exercise.

This whole business of finding a rhythm is really quite interesting.

One way to find it, I suppose, is by sheer force of personality. (And ego?) (Yes, and ego.) There are these monsters who believe so strongly in their mission that they barrel through, no matter the distractions. There are also those who might be called more sensitive – some are oversensitive – to the ripples created by others, and they constantly adjust their behaviors accordingly, forever calibrating. Sometimes they calibrate so much, they’ve stripped their own thread, lost their groove.

I think this is the dreadfully boring problem I’ve grappled with for the last few decades – a quarter century at least, since having children and becoming completely other-oriented. And it is a boring problem insofar as it bores – into one’s fiber, thus feeling like an active, destructive violation, but also putting everyone, including its “victims,” to sleep through sheer ennui because it is so goddamn common. How can you get excited – and motivated? – about overcoming a problem that’s so common? It’s like getting worked up about the weather (oh, hello?) or that grass in this part of the world is green, goes dormant in summer, and looks mostly like shit in winter. I mean, who cares about the changing color of grass, except for big chemical companies peddling poison to keep it in a different, essentially unnatural, state year ’round? Well, if there’s money to be made from turning boring and often natural states of affair into problems, then I suppose those problems suddenly seem “interesting.” Anything does when money’s in play. It’s what underpins “solutionism” at every turn.

Certainly there’s lots of hay to be made from the dormant grass of people’s ennui, especially women’s. I count myself among the latter group of people, although I will admit to sleepwalking rather badly into my predicament. I don’t have, it seems, a fully enough developed force of personality or ego. But I’m working on it, in my own small way.

I had to think again yesterday about what I wrote that morning – about being too laid back, too “relaxed,” and wearing (without awareness) the psychological equivalent of hair curlers. I think I’ve done that, to an extent.

And, as an aside (which may in fact turn out somehow to be central), we’re on the subject of hair, of women’s hair.

The hair curlers are, actually, a sort of mechanical veil, a covering. The hair is visible, unlike a veiled woman’s head, but the hair is not released. The curlers retain and control the hair in a kind of bondage. What is it about women’s released hair? Why is it almost universally – okay, no, scratch that: not quite universally, but wherever women can grow their hair long and luxurious, in those places and their cultures – a focus for men, who long to control it? Even the “star” stylists in our liberated west are practically all men, cutting, trimming, dyeing, and coercing women’s hair into culturally accepted – or edgy – forms. And of course all religions of a retardataire, medieval bent require hiding it completely under veils and scarves and hats – and, sometimes (in the case of Hasidim), fake hair, i.e., wigs. Now there’s a thing: you aren’t allowed to release your own hair, but you can wear the dead, no longer growing, inert hair of another human being (likely another woman). That is so weird. Why is released hair such an outrage in these religious world views? And why is binding, hiding, not cutting, and growing it in certain ways so mandatory? Man-datory. The men and their in-your-face facial hair, literally in your face. The women, tied up and bound by the hair on their heads. Encouraged to go to great lengths – literally – so that more can then be bound. The Catholic nun, in turn, has her hair shorn, then covers her head. Do nuns ever grow it back, I wonder…

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