See the Stars


I assumed shaving my head would be a sacrifice.
I grew up believing I had a pin head and big ears. Add to that some scars on my scalp and you have a recipe for dweeb.

The truth is, I didn’t really want to shave my head. I simply had the desire for my hair to be my natural color. Unfortunately, after a test with the clippers, I found that only the shortest “1 guard” would remove all the pink. Yikes. I had never cut my hair that short.
I would have much rather let the roots grow out more – but that could take weeks. I considered dying all the pink back to a “natural” color – but a fake brown seemed to defeat the purpose.

Finally I decided to surrender to the idea. It was Xmas break and I had nothing important on my calendar in the near future. It was the night of the Winter Solstice, the new year was days away and if worse comes to worse – I have lots of hats. Plus, hair grows back.

“BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ”

I was startled by my first look in the reflection. I wasn’t just the lack of color, but the shape of my head that was different. I probably would not have recognized my own shadow. I was pleasantly surprised. It was drastic – but also kinda cool.

As the next week progressed I was continually surprised by my reflection. I saw glimpses of my shorn head and would have flashes of iconic shaved heads: prisoners, monks, soldiers, even Neo in the last Matrix movie.

I liked it visually more that I thought I would.
And it impacted me mentally more, too.

I have considered myself a “Lifestyle Artist” for many years. I enjoy seeing my days – and the way I look as I walk through them – as part of my artistic expression. But there is a level of pressure when every public appearance is an unstated gallery opening.

Having pink hair is asking for attention. It is the fashion equivalent of sounding a trumpet when you enter a room: “ATTENTION, ATTENTION: I AM A CREATIVE AND INTERESTING PERSON!”

Don’t get me wrong, I love this. It serves a dual purpose of repelling people who are too close-minded to click with me and drawing people in who are more on my wavelength.

It’s like a scarlet ass of a baboon or the intricate coloring of a flower. It helps all the other animals know what to expect.

But that is just it.

“Knowing what to expect” means that there are expectations. It means that I enter every situation with a story already attached to me. Normally I like this for the reasons above. And I may return to pink for this very reason.

But now that I am free from the visual legacy, I understand better what the effect is.

Without the story behind who I am, I find myself much more present in the moment.

I am untethered by a legacy or reputation.

(NOTE: I love my reputation and have worked very hard for it. But even the best reputation still forces you into a box of some sort.)

So as I walk the street, I am simply a man.
I am not an artist or performer.
I am not special or unique.
I have nothing to say until my mouth actually forms the words.

And this was the deeper goal of the change:
To minimize the impact of my appearance and allow the subtlety of my true self peek through. I have used my body and appearance as a crutch for a long time. Insecurity convinced me that I was “pretty smart for a model…” but I lacked faith in the worth of my thoughts alone.

In recent years I have worked on deepening my spiritual practice. And I feel like the ideas I share are less and less about “me” at all. I don’t feel like I am crafting any message, but simply chipping away at my ego and noticing what is left.

So as 2009 ended, I wanted to chip away at another part of my ego: my well-crafted appearance.

In this “naked” state, I feel a new level of honesty. This is who I am, without any attempts to *create* something and control how it is perceived. (NOTE: This is an exaggeration. I still wear earrings and choose my clothing.) If I am judged in this state, it has nothing to do with me. This is how I was created.

I understand the concept of uniforms much more now. Removing the option to decorate places much more importance on what is inside.

I’ve been visualizing it as “Turning off the porch lights so you can see the stars.”

So far, the view is fantastic.

Jan 4, 2010

5 thoughts on “See the Stars”

  1. How peacefully insightful. There’s no bang of drums or splash of color, just the courage to look within & the trust to allow others to see.. or not to see.

  2. YOU SOMEWHAT NO WHO I AM.. LOL WE ARE FRIENDS ON MYSPACE, AND WE HAVE SPACE MAILED SEVERAL TIMES.. OF COURSE, I AM A BURNER.. I BELIEVE THIS WILL BE MY 8TH OR 9TH BURN… I AM VERY PROUD OF YOU…THIS YEAR PASSED *2009*.. I’M NOT SURE IF IT IS MY AGE, AS I GROW OLDER..AND THAT DOESN’T BOTHER ME AT ALL.. I WELCOME THE YEARS TO COME.. I AM IN A VERY 0DD PLACE IN MYSELF..MY WIFE OF SIX YEARS- WEDDING ON THE BEACH IN KEY WEST.. ETC.. EVERY BURN, I WAS WITH HER.. WE WERE, JUST SHE AND I.. NOT ANYONE ELSE.. POINT-WE WERE NOT SWINGERS.. BUT -WE BURNED TOGETHER EVERY YEAR.. WE ENDED A YEAR OR SO AGO.. I HAD TO BREAK ALL CONTACT, NO TEXTS, E-MAIL- NOTHING.. IF I HEARD HER VOICE, MY HEART WOULD RUN TO HER AND MY HEAD AND HEALTH COULDN’T FIGHT MY EMOTIONS.. IT STILL HURTS- HOWEVER- *BAM* I REALIZED I HAD NO CLUE WHO I WAS ANYMORE.. I TRIED TO DO THINGS WITH MY MIND AND ENERGY ON HER.. REGARDLESS HOW IT ENDED… I JUST SAT- LIVING ALONE- THINKING, WHAT DO I LIKE, WHAT DO I WANT, WHERE I WANT TO TRAVEL- TRAVEL IS A BIG DEAL TO ME- BUT, I WAS BLANK- AND IT SCARED THE HELL OUT OF ME… THIS MAY SOUND WEAK- BUT THIS NEXT BURN- 2010.. I NEED IT.. THOUGH, JOHN- I AM KIND OF SCARED.. NOT TO SEE HER, BUT TO… YOU WILL UNDERSTAND THIS… TO BURN FOR THE FIRST TIME… ME, TO BURN.. THOUGH IT SCARES ME.. OK, THIS IS A BIT PERSONAL-BUT.. BEFORE MY WIFE, I WAS WITH A MAN FOR 6 YEARS.. OF COURSE- IT ENDED, I WENT BK TO NY.. BUT.. HERE IS MY POINT.. I HAVE ONLY *BEEN* WITH 8 PEOPLE.. SO, THIS BURN WILL BE NEW.. NEW TYPE OF GOOD ENERGY.. YET, I AM NERVOUS…LOL I HAVEN’T *BEEN* WITH ANYONE SINCE MY EX-WIFE— {HELLO STRESS}.. LOL
    BUT, THAT MAY NOT BE A BAD THING-I HAVE NOTICED.. I AM A VERY SEXUAL PERSON– I HAVE NOTICED NEW THINGS I THINK ABOUT, THE WANT TO TRY DIFFERENT THINGS, IDEAS,.. I HAVE REALLY NEVER BEEN ABLE NOR HAD THE CHANCE TO (LOOK THE WORLD IN THE FACE)- *WITH A SINGLE PERSONS EYES*— THEN, WHEN EVERYTHING WAS TAKEN FROM ME, TORN FROM ME, AND LOOKED *AT ME*- IT WASN’T ME—– I FELT NAKED, AND AGAIN, WHEN I LOOKED AT MYSELF-IT WAS SOME-ONE I HAVEN’T SEEN BEFORE…
    THOUGH, I HAVE TAKEN THE TIME I WAS GIVEN AND REALLY LOOKED CLOSE…
    *AT ME*… AND HAVE LEARNED ALOT, THE PAST 6 OR 7 MONTHS..AND KEEPING BUSY.. I’M HAPPY- BUT SHE IS STILL IN MY *BEING*.. SHE WILL ALWAYS BE APART OF MY SPIRIT… AND I AM GLAD FOR THAT… I JUST WANTED TO SHARE A TINY SLICE OF *ME* WITH YOU– THAT I UNDERSTAND EVERY LETTER YOU TYPED… HOW BLESSED YOU ARE AND WERE TO HAVE A BEAUTIFUL SPIRIT LIKE YOUR GRANDPA CALEB…EVERY STRONG WIND THAT MAKES, YOU STOP AND WITHOUT THINKING- LOOK TOWARD THE SKY AND CLOSE YOUR EYES AND TAKE A DEEP BREATH.. IS*YOUR GRANDPA GIVING YOU A HUG***** … KISSES AND BLESSED ENERGY, MY BEAUTY– THE WORLD HAS SO MUCH IT WANT’S TO TEACH US….
    YOU ARE ON MY TOP FRIENDS ON-MY SPACE, WITH ALL THE BRC,ETC.. YOU HAVE BEEN ON THEIR FOR LIKE 4 YRS.. LOL
    BLESSED BE- JEWLS
    AKA-PLAYA TURTLE

    )o(

  3. You’re still the same person no matter how you change your hair. I like your short hair anyway 🙂
    Thanks for the wonderful post!

    Cheers,
    B.

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