THE ZEN OF BRAIDING
My hair has grown long enough to form a single braid extending down my back. A braid I cannot make satisfactorily. The finished product swings to the right or to the left. I feel unbalanced, lopsided.
“Don’t talk.” My husband, standing behind me, gathers my hair in his hands. His expression seen in the mirror is neutral, as if his thoughts are elsewhere.
Divide the hair into three equal shanks. Right shank over the center. Pull taught. Left shank over the center. Pull taught. Repeat to the end. Secure with a rubber band.
He steps back and admires his work. I turn around and look with a hand mirror. I, too, admire his work. Neat, tight and centered.
“The secret,” he says, is not to think about it. To have a blank mind.”
spring duskpulling in the silence
of a white lily
Frogpond, summer 2011