When I was three years old, I lie on my side with my mom lying on her side in front of me. “Umma, your hair is like silk.” I didn’t know what those words meant at the time except that my mom did not think she had soft hair.
“Cue-won ah,” my mom murmured my name, “this is the last time you are going to run your fingers through my hair.” “Okay,” I told her in the dark; I still sneak in a touch to this day.
When I was ten-years old, I used to sigh when I saw my hairs fall and disappear into the shower drain. I lost a part of myself with every hair fiber that departed from my head. Sigh.
Now, I just put the strands of hair on the shower wall so it won’t clog the drain but back then, I felt like a hero saving my hair fibers from their watery death.
Waiting in line, standing against the wall before art class in elementary school, another hair fiber fell off. I wrapped it around my finger really tight (and I may or may not have swallowed it.)
If I lose a part of myself, wouldn’t I be able to retain it if I put it back inside myself?
When I lost my friends, I tried to hold them so tight; remember the good ol’ days?
But hair strands are hard to knot.
So I swallowed a part of myself that desired to have close friends. Besides, I have books and studies and ambitions and goals to keep me busy. I swallowed my hurts and hopes in the hope that maybe if I keep it all inside me, those relationships that have already fallen away, the hair follicles fallen off my scalp, would still be real and a part of me.
my hair grows.
I no longer mourn over the loss of a hair because I know that my hair grows.
It served its time faithfully and when its time came to depart, it did so fearlessly. I respect that.
I’m not talking about when you forcefully pull hair out and it causes pain… I am talking about the hairs that fall off noiselessly, painlessly, as if no one knew it had even left.
With every fallen hair, a new one grows. With every relationship that came, left, a new one appears, and if you wait long enough, old ones can grow longer and longer too.
My hair is my curtain. I tie a ponytail over my eyes to shield from the blinding lights of classroom lights and sunlight alike.
My hair is like a cheetah’s tail going back and forth when I run.
My hair reveals age. I found a single white fiber of hair on Valentine’s Day. I taped it to my music theory notebook and sighed because it camouflaged right into the page.
My hair is the one thing beautiful on a head and disgusting apart from it. (e.g. hair at the bottom of a drain)
My hairs keeps my head warm–a personal hat.
My hair is countless, but reminds me of Someone who knows the exact number of hairs on my head.
Dear Hair, thank you.