Hair Emergency

I need help with a very disgusting issue.

About 2 months ago I decided to try the no shampoo approach (I absolutely do not recommend it, the dangers are grossly understated). Before going the no shampoo route I was washing my hair every 7-10 days. My hair produced very little by way of natural oils originally. It never smelled. It always felt clean. I have coarse, plentiful, wavy/curly hair. For every hair follicle I have 2 to 4 hairs so I just have a lot of hair. I was using organic products, no sulfate blah blah but it was getting super expensive. Anyhow since I started my hair has started to produce some mysterious substance. It is a very solid fat, it is not oil. This fat is not well distributed through the hair and I cannot get it evenly distributed brushing, combing, massaging, ignoring nothing works. This substance collects massive amounts of dirt and so my hair is absolutely, disgustingly filthy 10 minutes after a wash. It does not smell bad thankfully, my roommate is non stop sniffing my head so I guess it has a nice scent but the hair is so gross. Despite being covered in lard my hair is still frizzy and coarse. My scalp is not irritated at all. No itching or redness. My scalp feels pretty good so it does not seem like the follicles are clogged. I have tried now washing my hair with shampoo but it does not help. I cannot find anything that will break down this substance. It can’t be product build up because I wasn’t using products so what is there to build up? I have been working around trees a lot, maybe I have sap mixed with oil or something? How do I get out sap? Lard? Will it be necessary to shave my head? Is this just how normal hair is? It can’t be that awful, I would rather have horse hair as before if this is what hair feels like. Do I have a disease? I have seen no improvement at all in my hair. It certainly looks and feels worse. Because of the grease it is even harder than before to get wet. I have oddly very waterproof hair, like a duck or something. I have to submerge my head for a long time and it still never gets fully wet.

Fragility

I hold your heart

up to the moon

with red palms

and eyes

like two egg yolks.

Everything

in this world is soft,

even the stones

we pass between us.

Our hearts

still hold sadness as a virtue.

When I sink into your depths

I hold my breath

and let you fill me

like a ghost

with your vacuous longing.

We fathom only

those parts that we can fathom.

My love is unwieldy,

it is a meteor

splitting the void of space

into segments of fire and ice.

When our bodies touch

I forget that we have endings.

There is only the knowledge

of our sameness,

of our coupling and uncoupling.

Your absence makes me ache.

You are my limbs,

my core,

my brittle, black roots.

When you go

I am reduced

to a third of a person.

Loneliness

must feel

very much

like being eaten.

My head is full of thieves,

their cravings, their blood-thirst.

Their burnt fingertips

clutch my spine

as though it were a sword.

This is how I became

two people,

a woman to adore

and another woman

bitter as a gourd

and hollow on the inside.

I reach into your mouth,

my serpent-tongue,

the forbidden knowledge

that tells us how to live

in order to really love another.

It feels impossible

to change a belief

into a home.

Sometimes

all we know of home

is the door

which marks

our passage.

In me the demons

still crowd together.

You could say that my corners

are screaming.

You could say that my walls

are wet and guilty.

You could say that

I understand life

only in relation

to suffering

and that when I love

I suffer for the sake

of maintaining

a certain degree of fragility.

Update

On March 29th my poem “Paper” will be featured on Spillwords.com. I will post the link when it goes up so please visit. In other news I got an internship as a Journalist for Propl which starts May 1st.

Oneness

I feel around

in the darkness

for your hand.

Heart to palm

I hold you hostage,

make you feel

the echoes inside of me,

the oneness

which cannot be divided,

the oneness

which is us.

At night

we are two

warm bodies

woven together

on the edge of dreams.

Sometimes I lie awake

just so I can

hear your expectations

break apart.

Prayers

don’t always

come

in the form

of a wish.

Sometimes

they come

like fire

burning away

the inessential,

turning us over

so we can see

the world

as angels do

from above

and below

at the same time.

When you speak

to bare your soul

your voice

is as quiet

as a cat

and I never really know

if your promises

will keep.

Still I choose

to believe.

Your soul

weighs less than mine

because you have

memories of childhood

and all I have

are memories of survival,

memories too expensive

to revisit,

memories which come upon me

uninvited like a war.

You say “I love you”

with the shape

of your mouth

and your eyes

like two tremulous satellites

dancing in water

and I can almost believe

that I am worth it.

To Magdalena Andersson,

My name is Candice and I have been living in Sweden for about thirteen years. It is a privilege to live here but my home will always be earth. I believe that we are all connected and it is only through the formation of these vital, human connections that we can hope to save Ukraine and the planet as a whole. Right now Europe is wracked with war and it is devastating and it is terrifying and I, like so many others, feel confused and helpless. On the one hand, it feels like humans have regressed. War is savage. We should know better than to abuse our neighbors, our wild, precious planet, our humanity, our resources, our culture wherein there exists so much creativity, passion and diversity. We can do better and yet here it is, a war in Europe. On the other hand, you have the courage of the Ukrainian people and all those who are willing to fight beside them, whether it is with weapons or words or resources or ideals. I have been impressed with Sweden’s willingness to help other countries in need, particularly in times of crisis and I am proud to live in a country that fights for the welfare of humanity as a whole. I am both an American and a Swedish citizen but first and foremost I am a human being and I know that we cannot live in a world where human beings are divided. In times like this we have to work together, we have to believe that the goodness in humanity is greater than the fear which precipitates hunger and misery.

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Edmund Burke. Can it really be for peace that we allow the hunger and the fear of one man (or a group of such individuals) to dominate and dictate our actions? Is it not also fear that silences us and ties our hands together? I am not a proponent of war and I believe that revenge only serves to perpetuate cruelty. We have a right to defend ourselves of course but the goal should always be for the betterment of humankind. I don’t have any solutions unfortunately but I will say that at the end of the day when we are lying in bed, unable to escape ourselves, it is a comfort to know that we have stood for something, that we have believed in something, that we have focused our efforts on love, hope, freedom, creative expression, and peace. Love might not conquer everything but I would rather invest in love, than terror and fear. So keep standing up. Keep raising your voice. In the midst of war be the one that shelters. I can’t speak for every citizen but personally I would rather live in a country governed by compassion. So provide whatever support you can and know that in saving one nation, you save us all.