my head was bare
my mind was not blank
my scalp was bald
so no weight to add
to the endless pressure
a pressure that couldn’t escape
no hat could smother it
sunburn was a distraction
concussion brought new pressure
didn’t make a difference
its capacity was endless
each image added to the pressure
there was no relief
self was trapped in bone
removing the skin
only removed identity
even the hollow skull grins
no one knew me well
There is an odd relationship between hats & respect – no hats in some churches, in some the head must be covers, in some women have to be totally hidden – all at the dictates of spiritual respect. Then there is ‘the higher the hair the closer to heaven’ philosophy from the bouffant days.
In some faiths the removal of hair is a sign of leaving a former life behind – monks, nuns, Buddhist acolytes are shaved bald, cutting off a Chinaman’s queue is an act of humiliation, native Americans scalping those they best in battle.
Yes, hair is more than something to wash a man out of. In high-school told by a Phys-Ed to get my hair cut – it was creeping around my ears – like a man. So hair also defines gender, even politics – Afros were seen as radical signifiers, long-hair hippy, sexy shag-ster, greaser mullet.
Maybe hair is the door to the soul & not the eyes 🙂 Invariably it becomes an extension of the ego. Even not having it – when I started shaving my head decades ago, people’s reactions to be changed. I became physically more intimidating! Whatever.
Ultimately this piece is about the impossibility of transcending the self because no matter what one does internally the external will never let the self free as long as people judge books by their cover or lack of a cover.