Tuesday, March 30, 2021

March Hair

 One of the interesting events in my life these past several months of isolation is seeing the changes in the hair on some of my friends.   I mostly like noticing male friends whose hair has always been neatly trimmed, now sporting shoulder length tresses.  These longer doos are still neatly brushed and groomed and have become a comfortable part of the individual's identity.  

Mine, on the other hand (or head), has not succumbed to any regimen of daily care to speak of.  It has grown to shoulder length, shown indications of the curliness of half a century or more ago without the fabled thickness that my aunts and female cousins used to envy, and generally has become an unruly series of isolated grey/white strands flaring out in arbitrary directions.  There is woefully little of it, anyway.  When I did get my hair cut, pre pandemic, it was about every two months.  Since the nasty COVID-19 bug arrived, it's been about a year-and-a-half since any scissor has touched my tresses.  Not that it's a major event when one does, given the paltry number of follicles that actually produce anything.  That said, I finally made an appointment to get it done.  I am "fully vaccinated" so I feel free to branch out from my hermitage, and hair is one of the first priorities.  Full disclosure - I'm more interested in getting the hair in my ears and nose taken care of than on my head.

I've babbled enough about follicular situations for now.  Until next time.


Sunday, February 21, 2021

In The Zone

 I read the phrase in the morning paper a while ago, and it ignited a couple of things.

 One often hears athletes account for some spectacular play by saying they were "In the Zone."  I experienced it once playing third base in an IBM softball league.  One out, runner on first, clean-up hitter at bat.  As the batter swung, the zone happened. I saw the ball at impact. I knew the trajectory of the high line drive immediately, moved right and leaped, catching it at the edge of the webbing.  I landed and turned, seeing the alarm on the base runner’s face as he spun in slow-motion back toward first.  I had all the time in the world to make the throw ending the inning.  It never happened again.

'Bama third base Kelly Montalvo 2009

But The Zone isn’t reserved for sports.  Think about the arts.  When a writer puts pen to paper or fingers to keyboard and begins working, what is sometimes drudgery suddenly becomes a race to keep up with words that pour out.  Time is a non-entity.  The only thing in the world is the word, the connection of one to the next, and the next, and the next…  Knowing, without knowing, that the words are good, that they fit, that they make a story or a poem. 

Ponder the painter in The Zone, removing the blankness from a canvas to reveal a scene, a portrait, an abstraction, a slice of life, allowing the brush or pallet knife to do its work unencumbered by concerns about rightness, certain it is there.

I know a beautiful singer, songwriter who, on a break from a recording session, stepped outside to enjoy a few minutes respite.  She sat on the wall of a fountain that encircled the statue of a woman who gave the studio its name. With her mind and voice relaxed, lyrics wormed their way in and by the time the break was over she had a new song.  It is in my opinion one of the most creative tunes on the album.

I imagine sculptors, crafters, laborers, teachers; people of all occupations and vocations sometimes feel The Zone.  It happens when the work becomes all-consuming, when nothing exists but the material and its manipulation by whatever tool fits to make it complete.

Think about the time(s) when a project you worked on consumed you to the point that all your energy focused on it.  When you finally took a breath and looked up, hours had passed without you feeling them go.

Did you ever wonder how a surgical team can work for seven, eight, or more hours to save a life?  I have to believe they are “In The Zone.”

Until next time,


Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Do You Refuse to Make Resolutions?

 Can't happen.  That refusal is a resolution!  Well maybe you say to yourself "I don't care about resolutions."  So, rephrasing: you resolve not to care.  Frustrating, isn't it?  There's no way I've found to not make a resolution, so why fight it?  It's more fun to compile a list of resolutions, then cross them out when you break them.  Some classics for you to copy:

Fill in the blanks

I will lose ____ pounds by _____.

I will exercise ____ times a (week, month, day - circle one)

I will not watch more than ____ hours of TV per (week, month, day - circle one)

I will eat a healthy diet. [this one is ambiguous so you can figure out what's good for your particular health.]

I will be a better person. 'Better' is a comparative, so better than: your significant other, relative, neighbor, friend, I was last year, ... ? Better is a standard advertising ploy 'Our product is better': than last year, than not having it, than bouncing a ball in the street, ... ?  Actually this one is a keeper, because no-one but you knows the other side of the comparison.

Enough silliness.  If you've made your list, have at it; if it's in your head, also good because you will be the only one to know you broke them.  If you are brave enough, put it on your kitchen door.

Happy resolving.

Til next time,