Gray

It was as unexpected as the pandemic- going gray I mean.  I hadn’t planned on it.  For 15 years I doused my hair with Clairol Natural Instincts # 4 dark brown.  Just like not planning on going gray, I had not planned on ever coloring my hair in the first place.  Then one day when I was 50 the lady at the pool counter asked if I wanted a senior pass.

I let my hair grow out, again unexpected, and unplanned.  Closed salons meant getting a haircut was not possible.  So after years of stylishly short hair, I now sport a mid-length gray mop.

I hardly recognize myself anymore but I barely recognize the world I live in of face masks, lockdowns, and a sobering death toll.  I barely recognize this country after four years of political and social turmoil. 

Gray is a color that is neither black nor white but something in between.  It’s all gray now, a state of waiting, everything shrouded in a fog of uncertainty. When will I be vaccinated?  When will this isolation end?  When can I have my old life back?

In the matter of hair, gray signals more the end than the beginning.  My graying head has become a personal symbol of my mortality but I’m not afraid of it.  I’m going wild and just letting me be who I am without a care.  Write, draw, scribble, sing loud- it’s all good.

When we can all talk about this era in the past tense and even laugh a little, I will remain gray.  There’s no way I can go back.  There’s no way we can go back.  From inequity to racism too much has been exposed.  There can be no more cover-ups.

4 thoughts on “Gray

  1. Beautiful essay from a beautiful woman! I know what you mean about not recognizing yourself as I went through that, too, after stopping with the coloring. Now I enjoy a healthy pink streak on one side and it helps dampen the ‘gray’ in more ways than one! hugs, and hope to see you next time down in CA. Lis

    Liked by 2 people

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