I wanted to do something else yesterday with Nadine's drawing challenge.
I wanted to find the photographs of my father's barber's shops he has owned over the years, I wanted to talk about how the story of other people's hair has been in our family's life one way or another for as long as I can remember. I have swept men's hair, washed their hair, but never been allowed near the scissors (for some unknown reason). My sister now owns the shop my father started in Merthyr nearly 30 years ago. As you know if you have read my blog before he had another heart attack and has been forcibly re-retired from the shop he can't seem to leave. He turns 76 next week.
But instead - I found this photo. (oh yes, I have a mean streak...)
And then I thought about how hair defines us; about the decisions we make when we cut it. I thought about why I love the feel of unbleached, naturally silky smooth hair and the reasons why I have decided not to colour my grey hair out any more.
When I was first separated from the man in the photograph - I cut off my long, bleached blonde hair. I had physically removed two years of hair growth, and of course two years of marriage in one fell swoop. It felt amazing to be free of both man and hair. It has taken a further four years of separation before I have made the decision to stop colouring and start growing my hair again. This may have something to do with the decision to push through with the divorce process. I think that the relationship we have with ourselves and our hair is so strong - so powerfully connected with our identity and emotions that when I first saw the photograph of my husband dressed like this for a charity do at work I was completely shocked and then not at all surprised...
He hadn't told me about it and had hidden the clothes. I found this photograph taken with his phone.
I haven't spoken about him before, well not directly, but for the last six years my daughter and I have been recovering from him. This is just the teeniest of pokes. But I'm sure he would be thrilled!!