Friday, July 1, 2011

Gimme a Head with Hair

After looking at a global crisis yesterday, today I turn my attention to a subject dear to my heart--hair.

I grew up in the 1960s, when we all started out with short haircuts and many of us grew substantial manes by the time the folks had cleaned up Yasgur's farm at Woodstock. My goal, at first, was to look like a Beatle, but my kinky Jewish hair looked more like a bush. So, that's what I had. It was long in the early 1970's, but by the end of that decade, it was trimmed way down.

I identified with youth, hippies, musicians, artists, cool people, and so on. I heard the anthem from the musical HAIR in my head, and was waiting for the positives vibes of the Age of Aquarius to begin.

Well, here I am approaching 60, and my hair has thinned a bit and lost a lot of its dark brown color too. As I play rock and roll (and classical) bass now, I'd like to have cool hair, too. I feel like I look like a businessman or a "straight" person now, despite a full (white) beard (that's another story).

The problem is, when it's too short, my hair loses its curl, so it isn't "fun" anymore.

But, at the same time, I don't want to bother with my hair and I really don't think about it much at all, until it's time for a haircut.

What to do about it?

Probably nothing. But I can't forget how much it meant once--as an identity with what I saw as a new way of life, with moving from nerdhood to coolness--with growing up. The symbolic value was more than any other. I didn't need it to keep warm and there was no ceremonial purpose to the longer hair.

Even the members of the Grateful Dead have shorter hair now. So what am I thinking about?

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