I wear them when it’s cold and when it’s blazing hot. Winter hats cover my ears and brow, and summer hats shield my eyes and keep my cheeks and nose from frying and blistering.
A fedora of my husband’s was made of a straw-like mesh. He thought it would keep his head cool and wore it to a picnic. When it left a uniform pattern of pinprick burns on his face, it went into the back of the closet for a while, then disappeared.
Some hats will protect you, and others will not.
But this is what I know…
There are those who don’t like hats, and won’t wear them.
Sometimes it’s because they find hats uncomfortable, painful, even, and sometimes it’s because they don’t want their hair messed up.
What I also know is…
Hats can make statements about the people wearing them—regarding taste, for instance, or religious traditions. However, there are those who insist on imbuing deeper meanings and motives to hats. They are often the same folks who are apt to see imaginary hats on people who aren’t wearing them.
…which is to say there is way too much assuming going on about berets and bowlers and cloches and caps, and an absence of the same.
It’s enough to give a person a headache.
(With apologies to René Magritte.)
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The question is not being, if or to, but rather when and what or why and where and how.
If one does this instead of that, results may shift by threads, or swelling clouds of snow. But time, as lord of all, crafts here and now at whim.
And what of this is relevant? What is fluff, and what’s concrete?
A crack, a stone, a thought, a breath, the need to move, progress?
It seems the center’s gone beyond not holding to full collapse. But those corners remaining, can they sustain our weight without it?
Years ago, I saw a man on a corner far from mine. Because there was no ground between us, we got by on shallow waves, our certainties preserved by distance until one day a spot appeared no larger than a tender seed and we set our feet upon it. And from each common yes no maybe, it grew.
Soon it will be spring and time to plant. That, I think, is being; that, I think is when and what and why and where and urgently, mindfully how.
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I found a moth on my kitchen window,
climbing up the screen.
It was a large moth, close to an inch, I think—
I didn’t measure,
and it seemed confused
by endless mesh
beneath its legs, its feet—
fragile, if moths have them,
I didn’t check—
and morning’s heat,
the lack of exits,
how it became so impossibly trapped.
At another time,
I might have grabbed a weighty book—
Gray’s Anatomy, perhaps—
and disregarding frantic flaps,
each frenzied dodge,
would have taken aim
in memory of garments lost—
cashmere sweaters, silk shirts—
to their nestling appetites,
Acrylic doesn’t suit their tastes.
But on this morning,
without a care for material salvation—
the artifice of dress, donned image—
I grabbed a glass instead,
possessed by instincts to
Its wings fluttered hard
against its new transparent jail—
momentary, but how could it know?—
then spread wide upon release.
On any other day, I would have crushed it,
for reasons that seemed right.
But not today…not today.
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