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Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

By Kellie Purcill

Hair1987 – I’m ten, and my tiny country school has sent the Grade 5 and 6 class (all 15 of us) 550kms/370 miles to Sydney. We tour the harbour, a historic site, and lunchtime has us sitting on the steps of the Sydney Opera House. Frankly, we’re all overwhelmed. Our town doesn’t even have three hundred people living there, only enough for one pub, a library the size of two parking spaces, and the nearest restaurant or cinema is two hours’ drive away. To be under the hot sun in Sydney, where it looks like the entire world has come for lunch, with different languages and smells and weird looking people whirling around us – I try to absorb every detail and not freak out at the same time.

My teacher, also the school principal, comes over. “Kellie, I have a favour to ask of you.” I look at him, bewildered. “See that lady over there?” he points quickly to where his wife (another teacher) is standing next to a lady with smiling eyes, both of whom are watching me. “She’s a tour guide, and her group” another vague wave another ten paces to the left “- would like to have their photo taken with you.”

“My photo?” I repeat, confused. I’m never asked to be IN a photo. I’m the odd looking one, with Band-Aids always on both knees, freshly grown front teeth finally descended, a wonky donkey amongst the fillies and thoroughbreds in my class. “Yes, your photo” he repeats. “Would you mind? They would really appreciate it.”

I stand, obedient, and he walks me over to the ladies, where the one with smiling eyes kind of nods at me then walks backwards, nodding and gesturing to me all the way. Then, I’m surrounded. By a shifting group of adults barely taller than I am – FLASH a camera shouts – another set of people gather around me, while in front at least ten more take their own photos while the tour guide nods between dazzling me with her monster flash. After several minutes the (Chinese? Japanese?) group murmurs something to me, nod and are led off towards the building, a bobbing sea of dark hair and smiling eyes. I’m sure that in every photo, at least one person was touching me.

No, not touching me. They wanted to touch and photograph my hair.

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Through My Window

Stephanie is a not-so-young mom of three young children.  Her daily life consists mostly of caring for her family, finding matching socks, thinking of something to make for dinner, reading or writing something that uplifts her, and occasionally shaving her legs.  Stephanie blogs about finding faith in the trenches of motherhood at Diapers and Divinity

The morning was a cozy morning at my house. Grant went off to kindergarten.  Clark and Natalie sat on my bed and read books, then colored pictures at the kitchen table.  I felt kind of lazy, and did some dishes and talked on the phone.  I stayed in my pajamas for most of the day.  At one point, I looked out the window and saw big beautiful snowflakes dancing around in the air. They were the magical, floating kind that are perfect for postcards and winter photos.  I admired them for a few minutes and then remembered that the high temperature was in the teens, and the wind chill lately had been brutal.  I realized that it wasn’t nearly as lovely out there as it looked through my window, and I was glad to be inside.

I don’t regularly spend my days having deep thoughts, but in this case, my observation led me to ponder some things.  So I chose to do my scripture study on judgment, particularly to think about how I see others.  Perhaps you don’t make the same mistake I do, but I tend to look at other moms as the ones that have it all together.  Their kids always look so magazine-ready, and when I stop by their home it’s freaking spotless compared to mine, or they show up right on time to a meeting when I haven’t been on time to anything for years . . . you get the picture.  The way they do motherhood looks all lovely through my window.

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I Learned the Truth at Seventeen

Marla is a Utah native and a professional writer and editor. She is just weeks away (fingers crossed) from completing a master’s degree in English. She loves running, biking, reading, writing, and lurking on the Segullah blog. She blogs at mindofmarla.blogspot.com.

I went to the Victorian exhibit at the BYU Museum of Art a few weeks ago and couldn’t take my eyes off one of the paintings (click to enlarge):
What you’re seeing is unmarried, dowry-less women being auctioned off to the highest bidders in an ancient Babylonian market. The women have been lined up according to their beauty—the most beautiful woman is standing on the platform; the least beautiful sits on on the far right. According to Herodotus, whose writings on the market inspired the painting, the money earned from the purchases of the beautiful women was used to pay men to take the least beautiful women home. Examining the figures and their interactions in this masterpiece is like watching a movie—from the faces and gestures of the men in the crowd to the reactions of the women at being put in the order they were, there’s a wide variety of attitudes and thought processes happening here. That the painting is the size of an entire wall made it easy to live in the scene for a minute or two, asking myself (as a coincidentally unmarried, dowry-less woman) what it would feel like to be placed somewhere in that line. I saw a little of myself, at one point in my life or another, in each woman.

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