What brings you great comfort? A glass of wine by a roaring fire? A nestling puppy on your lap and a book in your hand? A warm bed on a cold morning? Comfort food to warm your soul and fill your belly? Sunrises? Sunsets? Just the beach?
At a recent writing workshop, the prompt was: What brings you comfort?
And this is my answer:
You won’t believe what I rely on to bring me comfort in times of need, and I don’t mean to make you uncomfortable in my comfort – who am I kidding. Of course I do.
I doubt very much you will find comfort in this expose of my personal comfort routine, but believe you me: I do. And this is about me. And mine. Not you and yours.
So bear with me as I explain this little personal insight, no doubt TMI, that without fail, brings me great comfort in their temporary absence and their persistent presence.
Weird, I know. In times of stress, at the movies, reading a book, talking to my mother, my teenagers, my rather attractive husband, more often than not, I let my fingers do the walking.
Like the blind, my fingers lightly transverse the landscape of my face, searching for an answer, the words to deal with whatever I’m trying to deal with, and without fail, they find their way home.
Steadfast, true. They’re there. Ever present, although not always visible. Sometimes hidden just below the surface, waiting for a moment to shine, but never backstage for long. If for some reason my fingers are left lost, feeling alone and abandoned, I know that it’s only a matter of days – let’s be honest – matter of hours that they will reemerge to remind me like the Whoo’s of Whoville: We’re HERE. WE’RE HERE. We WILL NOT BE IGNORED.
Or perhaps more comparable to Jack Nicholson, in The Shining, peering thru the axed hotel door, so emerges the rogue hair that seems to now make my chin its home. Talk about reliable.
Once a lonely only child, my chin hair now boasts several siblings: some sharp and gray, invisible to the eye but ever-present to desperate picking of anxious nerves. Some appear at a moments notice: thick and black, squatting overnight on my face like they own the place. They do not.
The worst offender is the light, wispy freedom child. Afraid to be tied down, she often makes a run for it, far from the cornfield of menopause. And I don’t know why, but I’m always surprised and shocked when I lightly grasp that stray hair, thinking like a moron I can blow it away with a wish, only to find it firmly attached back at the homestead not going anywhere.
Where do you find comfort? Probably not on my face, but that’s where I do.
However frightening these newcomers are to my face, they do bring me great comfort. They do. That all is not fading away into the twilight. That while my eyebrows grow sparse, and my hair grows fragile and thin, my lip, chin and various oil wells prove prolific and supple and able to grow new life at a moments notice.
But like all tokens of comfort – binkies and lovies and blankies. High school jerseys and college boyfriends, there comes a time for them to be a memory, and not a fallback reminder of what was.
Some people can do a cold clean break, some have the help of a loving parent or best friend. Some survive solo, some fall back to old habits that make them feel good.
These hairs do not make me feel good; but they do bring me comfort. I may be stressing, but these things remain. And remain. Despite efforts to evict with tweezer, wax, picking, and plucking, they remain. Still. Now. Right now. Today.
Chin sprouts I read like Braille offer comfort, if not joy. The joy comes later: with a 10x magnifier mirror and brand new pair of tweezers are able to grasp and remove them with one clean, swift jerk.
Looking into that mirror I am no longer afraid, I see my work is done here, but only momentarily. Sadly, with such an up close and personal view I discover what my fingers could not feel: these random hairs are not alone, far from it. Just the first leading the way for the fountain from youth.
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*NaBloPoMo National Blog Posting Month. Thanks for excusing randomness of due diligence.