while we are captivated by one event, there are millions of events happening simultaneously. as one sage told me years ago, if you are dismayed by present events…”wait and in your interim, seek peace.” change is constant. your thoughts, your actions, your words and prayers will bend change towards the positive, regardless of that which you encounter in the moment.
I slid in the hard plastic-padded chair ready for my pre-school hair-do. It’s been a summer of contemplation like no other full of finishing touches on a teaching life of 17 years, looking at 20 which systematically beats daily with a rhythm that leave many questioning, especially me.
“The usual? Cut, shaping, coloring,” smiled my hairdresser with a down-to-earth readiness I’ve grown to trust over the years. “I’m not sure,” I replied with a sigh. My mind ticked. I’m not sure about a lot of things. Not sure if I’m making a difference, not sure about insisting on games that are supposed to convince that learning is really taking place, but most of all, not sure if my maternal and grandmaternal instincts have a place in today’s world of “If You Got It Flaunt It” and “Just Do It”.
I watched a younger woman in the salon, fussing and flipping her hair, tossing her head from side to side and glancing out of the corner of each eye to get the best glimpse of her new “do”, smiling in the wall-to-wall mirror as if she were flirting with a sexy prospective beau. She was delightedly absorbed in her look, her new-found beauty…it was indeed all her.
“My hair goes whichever way it wants,” I grimaced, “especially in this weather.” The roller-coaster heat tightens ringlets at the nape of the neck while cowlicks and waves appear in a cut that is supposed to be straight and sleek. Go figure! Then I heard myself say, “No color. Is there a cut that can just let my hair go where it wants to?”
“Well, we can do layer and scrunch,” my hairdresser suggested pulling up several strands of hair. “The length is weighing it down.” I certainly understand being weighed down. ” Cut it to just shoulder – layered,” I ordered. For the first time in my life remembered, I had no attachment to the long length of hair I had preferred for a lifetime. I felt no grimace, fear or embarrassment in releasing inches of protective security fall on the grey linoleum floor. The shampoo girl arrived just as quickly to sweep bunches of highlighted growth into the refuse piles. My hair now revealed that mousy shade of light brown with wherever-it-pleases grey and remnants of blonde in random waves that looked like spring high tides on Jones Beach.
My hairdresser blew-dried and scrunched the layers of hair with her customary ease. I watched as the new-do waved into its own pattern and direction. Not bad, I thought. My skin paled even more so under the harsh lighting of the salon, but none of it mattered for the first time. It was me. And me is just fine.
I had the pleasure of meeting Director Paolo Bianchini and Producer Paola Rota in Rome, who have made an Italian film of substance – Il Sole Dentro. The film recounts the story of Yaguine Koïta (born September 25, 1984) and Fodé Tounkara (born April 6, 1985) stowaways who froze to death on a Sabena Airlines Airbus A330 (Flight 520) flying from Conakry, Guinea, to Brussels, Belgium, on July 28, 1999. Their bodies were discovered on August 2 in the airplane’s rear right-hand wheel bay at Brussels International Airport, after having made at least three return trips between Conakry and Brussels. The boys were carrying plastic bags with birth certificates, school report cards, family photographs and a letter. A letter, written in imperfect French, was widely published in the world media. “After several days,” recalled Paolo, “the media no longer told the story.” Their deaths and hopes to make a better world had become old news. Paolo decided that their sacrifice should not be forgotten and not be in vain. He and his team therefore set out to make an adaptation of the story and bring the plight of today’s youth to light once again. But this time, coupled with a movement to spur youth to action. “FATTI SENTIRE” (in Italian) means, “Make Yourself Heard,” and it is here where Mr. Bianchini and Ms. Rota plan to encourage youth to become more aware, become more involved and to make concrete efforts to effect change. Find them on Facebook. Understand the depth of their thoughts and concrete actions that can take place when people of like mind and heart work together for a common good, a common cause. And possibly let’s hold hands …across cultures, across languages and across countries…hold on to dreams, actions, hopes..our world awaits us.
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It is time to realize that peace and non-violence advocate for a renewed point of view and dedicated way of life.
from the coziness of covers warmed overnight by body’s life to the expected cup of tea upon rising after yet another winter storm, i give gratitude for heat in the cold and whisper a prayer surrounded by morning silence for … Continue reading
what remains a step away can be altered by whatever exists in the space between you and the experience. temper your judgment, like glass, accordingly.