Hair and My Early Adulthood

Pilgrim on a Long, Long Journey

I was eighteen about to graduate from high school with my barber, seated at his chair. In jest I declared, ” Cut it all off.” He didn’t confirm my request. He just started cutting and cutting and cutting.

A few days later as the picture of my entire class was taken at graduation I could quickly be found amongst the 600 or so fully coifed graduates.

It took the entire summer for me to meet my freshman college class as a non-skinhead. As you might gather shaved heads in 1963 were far from the norm.

Speaking of the norm. Straight hair had been in vogue for decades in the early 60s. There was actually a frat brother who made pretty good money straightening hair in our Jewish fraternity.

Then after I graduated and in the late 60s Ryan O’Neal in Love Story and Paul Newman in Butch Cassidy and the…

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Communication, at its Best and Worst

“People like me write because otherwise we are pretty inarticulate. Our articulation is our writing.”William Trevor, an Irish novelist, playwright, and short story writer.

“We still need a voice that thinks before it speaks.” Simon Armitage, a British poet, playwright and novelist

Speech, for me, can fall far short of pleasing communication. When I take the time to write these essays, I might edit one for the umpteenth time, hours later. Looking back, something, suddenly, looks inarticulate, lacking clarity.

I have phrases that erupt when I speak, that have no context, that come from left field (or perhaps that’s right field), that elicit blank stares. On the other hand, those blank stares are what make speech, potentially, more effective than well edited writing. We have from the living, grunts, stares, raised eyebrows, but, SOMETIMES, smiles.

Who said it would be easy?

Bonding and Solitude

Pilgrim on a Long, Long Journey

“I hold this to be the highest task of a bond between two people: that each should stand guard over the solitude of the other. For, if it lies in the nature of indifference and of the crowd to recognize no solitude, then love and friendship are there for the purpose of continually providing the opportunity for solitude. And only those are the true sharings which rhythmically interrupt periods of deep isolation.”

Rainer Maria Rilke

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