Last night I had a dream that an unkind person sprayed bleach into my hair, causing unsightly brassiness to appear overnight. In the dream I was freaking out; Googling reversal options, putting purple food dye in shampoo to make it look like this had been on purpose, etc etc etc, but nothing could save the blotchiness of the job, or the awful color. "I can't go out like this!" I said while throwing myself into my room and slamming the door. And in the weird way dreams jump, suddenly I was sitting in a chair, my hair about to be buzzed off. Because apparently I'd rather have no hair than bleached and blotchy hair. But amidst the shaving, I felt so free. No hair. No obsessing over out of place frizzies. No worrying about the mash up mix of wavy and curly when I only ever wanted perfect straight. No unnecessarily spending time mulling over how I once was blonde as a kid but now people call me brunette in my absence of the hot Miami sun.
When I woke up, I lay there in bed, Washington summer sun streaming through the eastern facing window, reflecting off the mane of hair around me. Why do I worry about my hair so much? Why do I worry about any of my appearance so much?
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and the eyes are windows to the soul, which, combined, I think can have some greater significance than I fully appreciate right now. Maybe algebraically we can substitute the definition of beauty in the first phrase into the second phrase for the word "eyes". Please, try to keep up with my still dreaming brain here. Beauty = eye of the beholder; and eyes = windows to the soul; therefore beauty is the window to the soul. That made sense a few moments ago. Maybe wait a little longer and it will again.
Why do I worry about my skin's pores, blocked every once in a while as they try to do their job, cleaning out oil, bacteria, and dirt? Why do I fret over the forehead wrinkles I've had since I was fifteen from concentrating over books and meticulous handicrafts late into the night? Why does anyone spend time critiquing these inevitable things about our remarkable bodies?
Beauty is the window to the soul. Let's try this again. You can look at someone all you want, but until you truly see them, see their beauty, you will not know their soul. Each part of them you accept and learn to love will reveal to you more of their beauty, more of their soul. Maybe that's how people become more physically beautiful to our eyes as we spend more intimate time with them; the soul is being revealed bit by bit as we discover their beauty. More beauty, more soul, more beauty, and so on.
I don't sit in the sun to feel the warmth tingle my nerves; I sit there to stain my skin cells a darker hue. I don't always spend time outside to be surrounded by soothing nature and feel grass beneath my feet; I spend that time with lemon juice in my hair, soaking up rays and converting them to lighter streaks, so maybe they'll call me blonde again.
Beauty is the window to your own soul. And maybe you can start at either end. You can get to know yourself a little better, your soul in a sense, and then you'll start to see your beauty. Or from the other side, stand in awe of your physical body and beauty: truly look and see how each cell and fiber has come together to weave the tapestry of you, and from there, take a peek at your soul. Body and soul; they seem to be rather intertwined.
I want to sit in the sun to feel her warmth. I want to roll out of bed and out the door in one swift motion, never stopping in the hallway mirror to tidy this or fix that, right out into the world that will take me as I am.
I probably won't shave my head; I'll leave that for my husband's. But I'd like to not worry so much about how I look, how I physically appear to the people around me. That sacred and precious time I would prefer to reserve for peering into the window to my soul. I'd like to, instead, marvel in the miracle that is my body.