05 February 2012

Going Grey

I've been progressively going more grey. Actually, my first grey hair ever I found when I was 24 (which was, umm, some time ago). I pulled it out and carefully preserved it in my journal with scotch tape. However, that one grey hair was the only one for quite a while; the silver didn't start proliferating until a few years ago. My daughter one day, around Christmas time, said "Mom, you've got tinsel on your head! Oh, wait..." (That's a rather festive way of looking at it, isn't it?)

And then yesterday, I was in a conversation with someone, and he said something like this: "As we get older, we see more of the grey areas in life. And I think there is much, much more grey than there is black and white." That, gentle reader, is profound. As the greys on our heads multiply, we also (if we're healthy people) start to see more of the grey around us.

And grey, let me tell you, is an important thing. Remember that chiaroscuro I've been waffling on about some time ago? It's impossible without grey. You need the grey in between the blacks and whites to give shape and depth to your image. In art theory, it's called the halftones. What we call black-and-white is, actually, shades of grey; it's not often you actually get full-on black and full-on white in a picture. You can, of course, and it's very dramatic when you do, but you lose most of the shape and practically all of the depth.

And now I'm wondering: is there, perhaps, a connection between our society's insistence on women, in particular, colouring their hair, not letting the grey show, and a general unwillingness to see the depth and roundedness of life as a whole?

Life, the Universe, and Shades of Grey. It's all in the halftones.


  1. Hmmm... that was deep but I think you're right in my case. I tend avoid a lot of the depth around me..keeps me sane. Guess I'll keep dying my hair :)

  2. Well, I meant it more general, on a society level, not so much personal, on an individual level. You don't strike me as a shallow person, so you're obviously going as deeply as you need to. Sanity is a good thing. :)

  3. Yes, definitely. It's all right for men to go grey, but women shouldn't be 'old'. (Said by the woman who constantly dyes her own hair, ha!)

  4. Yes. Makes you wonder if we're still living with the attitude that women are only useful if they're young (aka have coloured hair), but men can actually be allowed to do some thinking. Hah! We'll show them!

  5. Interesting musings....I decided to colour my hair yesterday, since the skunk stripe was getting pretty obvious and I had already bought the dye (a natural brand that works great!)....but at the same time, it's starting to become part of my consciousness that I am beginning my journey of letting my hair just be what it is. I'm not quite ready yet....but it's coming.