Her Hair Tells A Story

Standing in the bathroom, a place of horrific and shameful abuse.  I am getting another haircut that strips away my femininity.  I’m 11 years old and in the midst of a war that revolves around my hair length.  Much of my childhood has already been stolen. My inner little girl is screaming “Please mom, stop! Don’t…

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Rupture. Release. Beauty

I’m getting divorced. Three simple words.  Three simple words that don’t convey the pain and messiness of this season.  Three simple words that don’t feel real.  Three simple words that represent an impossibly complicated emotional state of being.

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Debridement

She’s giggling, running, faster and faster, So fast that chubby legs cannot keep up with internal thrill But she tries valiantly…and goes down. I’m watching, delighting in her delight Yet simultaneously cognizant of the great risk of physical abandon and asphalt to her toddler body. Gravity–real life–fulfills what I had hoped against. Bright pink shorts…

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Coloring My Roots

Before there was gray, I colored my hair to match the roots. Deep brunette painted golden highlights, bringing warmth to summer kissed skin. Transitioning to fall, a blank canvas disguised the need for a practical solution to the “what ifs” that laid ahead. Looking at myself in the mirror that day brought memories of carefree…

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Middle Age

The scent of my mother’s Clairol Nice and Easy solution in Medium Warm Brown wafts through our kitchen. I sit at our cherry wood table staring at my Algebra textbook. She unwraps the cellophane from her head and cranes her neck under the kitchen faucet to rinse. “It always starts out a little dark,” she says…

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Calling Ourselves Home

I was sitting in a room full of men. Okay, this isn’t that rare, but I was taken aback at how uneasy I felt in the moment. In between some semi-offensive comments made by one man, and other talk that I couldn’t participate in, I realized that I had shrunk–I began taking up less and…

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On the subject of love, legs, and femininity.

Hairy kneecaps. The first time my body became “my body”—a thing separate from me—was at 6thgrade lunch period when Hannah Wiessgarber informed me Paul Ferris would never date me because I had hairy kneecaps. She’d asked him about me, and his answer, given in the presence of the other 7thgrade boys, had been, according to…

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This is my body…

These words sound otherworldly, carrying the sense of the sacred. Many of us were raised in traditions which include the eucharist, or communion.  Some folks enter that space every month, some every week.  For some, it is a shared table, some approach one by one, some wait for a plate to be passed,  others wait…

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Betrayed By My Body

Since I was sixteen years old, I have felt betrayed by my body. Most of the battles I have fought with my body have been underneath my own skin. Potent diagnoses, mostly invisible to strangers, acquaintances, and loved ones alike. 

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The Arms of Safety

The arms of my oversized chocolate brown chair hold my tired body as I bring the face of my discontented daughter towards me. Her quivering lips latch on and her squawks slow to a grave whimper as she suckles the milk from my breast with a sweet hum of contentment. Oxytocin forges through my body…

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