Friday, April 06, 2007

Headbone Blues - Videoblogging Week Day 6

There are times when you have to jump off the grid. There are other times when you have to pretend to be "normal". Sometimes you have to do both at the same times.

I got a hair cut. I wanted a hair cut but I said the wrong blade number and when I looked up almost all of my hair was gone. It was a change. I was almost bald.

I was shocked but I liked it. Other people however had strange reactions. Some laughed. One shrieked. I can't count how many people said that I had "gone Brittney" And there were others who would not come near me.

Some asked if I was alright. Others asked if I was honoring a bet.

I was no longer safe.

It was a great week of lessons, about how hair has social meaning and association with gender, femininity and the code for "being safe". It got me to thinking about women who have no choice about hair loss, due to cancer, illness or other reasons. I thought about all the hair commercials and hair products I have at home.

I thought about sitting in a chair outside of a doctor's office waiting to hear how my life would or would not change. The women who fought and are here and the ones that died.

I thought about laughter as a cure for being unsure but taking a step. Breathe, move forward. So this is my attempt to speak for those that might be uncomfortable at first with no hair.

For those that have tears coming from true pain I wanted to share something profoundly silly. Losing hair is ok. There are far worse things in life. I'm telling you after the first shower or a shot of warm air over your dome it is a wonderful sensation.

My hair grows back really fast so the next time you see me I won't look like this. So I present to you my one and only music video, Headbone Blues. The music is from musician Ralph Woodin and the name of the track is Bent Sling Blues from the Internet Archive.

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  1. Yeah hair does grow back. I imagine that making a mistake such as blade number sucks because it would result in the loss of you hair. Still sometimes a woman with no hair especially purposefully is a change of pace. Even somewhat attractive.

  2. Gena you look incredible. The view from the top reminds me of a precious little baby, but from the front you are ALL WOMAN, and so beautiful.

    My mother-in-law had lymphoma. After she passed (having been in remission for 10 years), we found boxes and boxes of hats and scarfs among her possessions. We donated them to a women's cancer support group.

    Thank you for sharing your silly moment. But I do find you beautiful.

  3. Thanks folks. My main motivation for doing this was that a woman whose daughter is a breast cancer survivor was concerned about me. When I reassured her that I was ok she told me about her daughter and of other women who shaved their heads in support.

    I can't imagine the experience of having cancer and have people treat you as "the other". I got a little taste of it this week. I found it hysterically funny but it wouldn't be if you had a situation in your life that you had no control over.

    Bank your blessing folks, you never know when you have to draw one out in an emergency.

  4. Wow, amazing vlog... bold, wise and well crafted.

    A woman not having hair makes such a statement. There is something courageous about being present authentically without all the "frill". I wonder if thats why monks do it. Who needs hair when you have soul?

  5. I think this is stunning, Gena. Words sort of fail me, but you look remarkable, much like your personal strength and the strength of your reminder.

  6. i love it! i shaved my head about 5 years ago, i'd always wanted to and always had boyfriends telling me not to. luckily for david, he didn't object (we are now married :))

    (cross-commented on vidlicious!)

  7. i did this last october, though my cut was intentional. it was actually such a positive metaphor for renewal that i'm thinking of doing again next time i need a big change in my life.