Friday, August 29, 2008

Hair Unconscious

I've learned a thing or two since I began the Whidbey Island MFA Program, about how the unconscious mind might not arise from below, as is often depicted in diagrams, but actually flows down from above, about how time isn't necessarily linear but cyclical, spiraling back on itself again and again like the tales of 1001 Arabian Nights.

Oddly enough, the concept of cyclical time rings true for me when it comes to--you guessed it--my hair. Over the years, changes in my lifestyle have often meant changes in my hair style. Is it just coincidence? A most recent example would be my return to school to get a graduate degree. This August, as the day neared for my first residency on Whidbey Island, an inexplicable urge came over me to cut my hair.

From a practical viewpoint, it made no sense. I'd just paid for a photographer to take a dozen professional photos of me sporting my mid-length bob. I'd also been growing my hair out for several years to be able to tie it back when I go for a jog. Not to mention my hang-up with hairpisodes. Nonetheless, my hair just didn't "feel right" anymore.

So, before I knew it, I was flipping through old photos of me that I've scanned while writing these blogs. The style you see here is the one I chose. At first, I didn't put two and two together, that I'd picked out a photo taken around the time I'd graduated from college and yearned to go on to graduate school. It just felt right to me. Photo in hand, I trotted off to the salon, my heart full of mixed emotions, uncertain yet determined.

Setting aside for the moment whether or not the stylist managed to recreate the "old me," it seems once again, my retro hair is more than coincidence, the gears meshing in the cosmos, time leaping back on itself even as it moves forward, an outward sign of inspiration mysteriously flowing down from the realm of the unconscious.