Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Color Chronicles-- Back in Black!

 I have this game I play lately-- I say to myself, you're too (old, pale, tired, boring, domesticated, chicken, etc.) to wear X anymore. And then, like a rebellious child, my mind rejects that assessment, and suddenly I'm halfway to X.

 Many a time I've found that this glory-days search is really a search & rescue mission. I am in effect rescuing myself from complacency, from an artistic dulling that doesn't result in only bland beauty choices, but which can overtake my creative spirit as a whole. Those dull days or weeks following a surgery, or a stressful week that drained me, or a financial sinkhole I can't crawl out of, seem to signal a gradual shift away from some of my livelier pursuits in life, as well as my pursuit of creative expression. This dullness may extend far beyond the relatively trivial realm of appearance, limiting my cooking and eating choices, my ideas about the future, my very thinking. And I know I'm not alone in this-- I've watched it happen to others, and I've noticed it doesn't always begin with appearance.

 Appearance does always play a part, though. Obviously, when we can't see or feel our essential selves in our day-to-day activities, we can become frustrated, watching ourselves becoming more lackluster.

 This isn't to say we should dress up to combat depression, but when we're fighting a downward slide into dull feelings and dull lifestyle, I believe a swift shock to our mirrored image can be good for us. Like jump-starting a battery, letting that one little change come through connects us to greater energy in other areas of our lives.

 And that's how, at 49, I'm back in black hair again, and getting back into deep dark well-lined eyes, from a recent light look, with almost non-existent eye makeup.

 Before the dye job, I sat around with a friend, both of us bemoaning our need for a hairstyle refresh, and the idea of black hair came up. Each of the last three times I've worn my hair black, I've been sure it would be the last time I could reasonably pull it off. I'd seen a lady in a store not too long ago, who was killing her skintone by wearing stark blue-black hair, and I didn't want to look like that-- I didn't want to walk around fooling myself, so I decided I shouldn't go black again, not even soft, brownish cola  black.

Which is surely why last month, I told my stylist to take me there, and add a lock of inked green to boot. And you know if it was a disaster, I'd be fine with that, since it's just hair and it grows out and can be altered without too much trouble. At least I took a chance.

 Instead, it looks fantastic; makes my winter pale skin look creamy and smooth, and I've pulled my black kohl pencil out of early retirement. This risk paid off, and in more than just a fresh look for the season-- I feel energized about all kinds of little projects that I've been letting sit too long, endeavors that were well begun and then stopped cold when a few too many stressful activities made me run for my personal hole-in-the-ground, my office:


Sure it's cozy (this pic from a summer evening, unlike the snowy view you'd have today); but why does the artist inside need to be kept that safe? Risks are what art lives on, and if your life is feeling dull, taking a few creative chances might be in order.

 Have a crazy week, on me.


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