Friday, April 10, 2020 – Live to Blog from Under a New Haircut!
Today I gave myself a haircut! A COVID-19 haircut! And they said it couldn’t be done! (Well, Clemencia, the Girls, Bert, Ernie, Beto & Enrique all hinted that it was a fool’s mission.) Nothing stops a subborn fool from Iowa!
Tom Gives Himself a Haircut
I couldn’t stand it anymore. It just couldn’t grow wild any longer. It had to come off!
Of course, that is not how I’ve always felt about my hair. When I was a teenager I really wanted to have long hair and dreamed of wearing it in a ponytail. Didn’t happen…mostly because my hair was too thick to actually tie into a ponytail. Also, it may been a little too risky for life in a tiny town in rural Iowa in the late 60’s and early 70’s. Today my hair is not as thick; but the few strands I have wouldn’t look so great in a ponytail now. Plus, it really bugs me now when I can feel my hair start to touch my ears.
When in doubt on how to do something, go to YouTube. I found a couple of good DIY videos there but my favorite was this one.
You don’t have to watch the whole video now. However, if you are sitting there wondering what you are going to do with your hair, you might want to invest the 11 minutes, 38 seconds it takes to watch it. I learned a lot and I basically just followed this guy’s instructions. However, I did not cut mine quite as short as his.
As I was finishing my haircut Clemencia came into the bathroom to watch me snip the last few strands. I asked her what she thought of it. She looked at me for a few seconds, smiled sweetly, and then asked, “You like wearing hats, right? And you have a lot them?” Sigh. Strike one.
A few minutes later, I made a sincere, heartfelt offer. “Mi amor, really, if you’d like to have your hair cut, I’d be happy to do it for you. It’s easier than doing it yourself and I’ll be very careful.” Clemencia started laughing and she laughed till she was crying. Strike two.
I decided not to risk striking out.
So, I’ll ask you – since I won’t hear you laughing anyway. How do you think it came out? Here are three views.
In Reality…We Keep Hitting Sad Milestones
Today we hit another milestone in the COVID-19 pandemic. There have now been over 100,000 deaths worldwide. At the country level, only Italy has more deaths now than the United States…barely. By tomorrow it appears the U.S. will have caught up with Italy and assumed first place. I’m not going to say anymore about this at the moment. The reality of the moment speaks for itself.
A Quaker Meditation
I’ve mentioned that Clemencia and I are members of a Quaker community in Sandy Spring, Maryland. I grew up as a Methodist, became a Baptist, and eventually settled in the Religous Society of Friends (Quakers). Clemencia, as many growing up in South America, grew up in the Roman Catholic tradition. My first affiliation with Quakers was in the Friends Church, which is a part of the Society of Friends that looks more like traditional Protestant Christianity. In the Friends Church there are paid ministers (pastors) and the worship services utilize music, corporate prayers, testimonies, and sermons. Over the years, though, I grew more comfortable in the unprogrammed Quaker tradition. Unprogrammed Quakers have no paid ministers, no liturgy, and no music in our worship service but we do have a whole bunch of silence. Occasionally the silence is broken by someone who feels led by the Spirit to share a (hopefully) brief message. Clemencia and I feel at home among unprogrammed Quakers because of the style of worship and the values of Quaker faith and practice (simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality, and stewardship).
Though Quakers don’t go in much for big celebrations of religious holidays, there a tradition which has emerged at Sandy Spring Friends Meeting for Good Friday. Each year there is a meditative experience offered at our Meetinghouse titled “Meditations on the Meaning of the Cross.” This year, of course, it cannot be offered live because of the pandemic. One of our members, however, did a video recording of it. It is based on the Stations of the Cross, or Way of the Cross, but it is infused with Quaker faith, philosophy, and values.
For many whose faith is within the Christian tradition, Easter week is one of the two most important in the year. This weekend it not possible…nor is it even responsible…to meet in worship together. For this reason, I’m including the link to our Meditations on the Meeting of the Cross below. It is not a Hollywood production but it is sincere and authentic 38-minute meditation. Whether you are of the Christian faith, another faith, or no faith, I think you may still find this to be a useful, calming reflective experience in the midst of a troubled time.
Stay safe, be well, keep calm, and keep washing your hands, and, please, keep wearing a mask. In this way you protect yourself and others.