“Love is the very difficult understanding that something other than yourself is real.” Iris Murdoch
Inside a little house on Sept. 20 a group of women met.
There was food and cucumber water.
There was a roll-y white chair and a lamp for lighting.
She sat down and shared with us: LOVE WINS.
And she took off her hat.
There was a documentarian and cameras rolling.
A horseshoe-shaped cluster of women enveloped her.
There was music playing: “You Make Beautiful Things.”
And there were voices joining in.
There were stories swirling around, and then the sound of clippers.
There were tears.
And smiles through the tears.
Pieces of hair fell freely to the floor, passing first through the loving fingers of the woman who cut it away.
There was laughter and silence and singing.
There were fist pumps, outstretched arms, cheers.
There were hugs, and head kissing.
There was rain.
This morning I’m rubbing my own near-bald head. I’ve been trying to come up with the words to introduce it to you, my friends.
I wanted to do this three weeks ago, but I wasn’t ready, so I didn’t do it.
My hair was long and I loved it that way. About two months ago, I had
it trimmed. “Please take only enough for it to be healthy, but
long.” Natalie cut barely four inches.
From the first day we received word of Brooke’s diagnosis, I knew
that if she ever lost her hair, I would lose mine too. When that chapter
of her journey began, I cut my hair off and donated 11 inches to Locks
A quiet inspiration spread from friend-to-friend. There was never
fanfare, and every woman has her own story of why, how, when. Last
night, conversations started based on, “Nicole, tell me your journey of
how you came to make this choice,” and her story was powerful and
unique. And then Sheree shared her jewel story. And Lynn and Annabelle.
Inspiration upon inspiration has built. When I look at my friends and
their bald heads, I see pure, authentic beauty. I see bright eyes
filled with peace, and I see confidence. My rough calculations indicate
more than 50 inches of hair has been donated to Locks of Love.
I went to that little house last night in joyful anticipation. Lynn
wanted to cut hers a little shorter, and so when the house started
emptying and most everyone had changed into their comfy clothes, Lynn
and I disappeared into the bathroom with Sheree and Natalie.
Sheree shaved my head. It was inspiration come full circle. She says
my hair cut three weeks ago gave her confidence, and her willingness to
follow her heart gave me confirmation of the nudge I’d been feeling. We
laughed a lot and said things like, “You have a good-shaped head,” and
“Your head is so soft, I just want to pet it all the time,” and “LOOK AT
About six months ago, a group of men and women met in that same little house.
Nicole. Brooke. Me. Lynn’s husband. Sheree’s husband. Nicole’s fiancé.
We were going to Haiti together.
I was impacted by their stories of why, how, when.
A lot of life has happened in the six months between then and now. The walls could tell you.
But somewhere in all the chaos of life, beautiful things are being made.
The walls could tell you that, too.