New Year, New Perspective
By Lauren Green
Illustration by Jennifer Hart
My hairdresser is young, hip and has only one eye. To be more accurate, he actually has two; one just happens to be made out of glass.
In the craziness of 2020, I let 10 months slip by without getting in to see him. It wasn’t pretty, but I managed. Fortunately, along with baking bread and cleaning out the attic, one of my favorite COVID projects was exploring ways to wear a ponytail. Recently, though, after being asked by the woman behind a local sales counter if I was eligible for the 55+ discount (I wasn’t, thank you very much), I decided that with 2021 in full swing, it was time to get my head back in the game. Literally.
For this reason, with hands washed and mask securely positioned, I beelined it to my hairdresser’s chair. He often jokes that having a glass eye is a pretty ironic challenge for his profession. Wouldn’t his lines be crooked? His balance and proportions skewed? On the contrary, his cuts are clean, his styles fresh, and I haven’t had a lopsided haircut yet. In spite of his sight limitations, he manages to find the angles that work. Honing his craft day after day, he alters his perspective in order to envision each cut. A slight tilt of the head, it seems, does the trick.
Feeling sassy after my trim, I headed over to Town Square. Along the way, I discovered that entire buildings had been erected since I was out and about last. I eyed my once-familiar town in a whole new way, mostly because it looked a whole new way. While I have spent the last several months sheltering in place, feeding my sourdough starter and walking the dog, Southlake has been moving and shaking. I returned home later that day feeling a little put out and left behind.
I EYED MY ONCE-FAMILIAR TOWN IN A WHOLE NEW WAY, MOSTLY BECAUSE IT LOOKED A WHOLE NEW WAY. WHILE I HAVE SPENT THE LAST SEVERAL MONTHS SHELTERING IN PLACE, FEEDING MY SOURDOUGH STARTER AND WALKING THE DOG, SOUTHLAKE HAS BEEN MOVING AND SHAKING.
I experienced a similar double take soon after that long-overdue hair appointment. It was one of those crisp, bright-blue winter days. I stepped outside and noticed my rosebush in full bloom. I am embarrassed to say that my first reaction was not that of delight, but rather exasperation. Does my yard ever take a break? The leaves. The weeds. And now roses. Growing up in Kentucky, winter was cold and gray, but it offered me an opportunity to burrow into my personal season of dormancy when I read books, worked puzzles and wore comfy sweats several days in a row. When I saw that crimson pop of color in my backyard, it felt like Mother Nature was shaming me to get out and get busy.
Truth be told, discovering buildings that seemingly went up overnight and finding roses flourishing messed with my equilibrium. Why is Southlake getting so big? How is it that my garden is more active than I am? My midwinter frustration continued. For the fifth time today, where did I leave my book? And why does my sweatshirt stink?
With pandemics and politics, I roll with the punches as best I can. A missing jigsaw puzzle piece, however, has the potential to throw me over the edge.
Back on that day in the salon, my hairdresser jokingly said I should write an article about him. As it turns out, he comes to mind a lot during times like these when I catch my perspective teetering.
No doubt about it, there’s a lot going on around here during this so-called season of dormancy: buildings where there were once empty fields, roses blooming whenever they please and a hairdresser creatively coifing hair with his one eye. To me, it’s a mix of mystery and moxie.
Wherever this new year happens to find each of you, here’s to homing in on whatever boosts clarity, encourages balance and keeps us feeling somewhat sassy. A slight tilt of the head might be just the trick.
Lauren Green, a native of Kentucky, has lived in Southlake with her husband and two children for 13 years. In addition to her work at home, she’s also an active volunteer in the community.