Although I don't normally provide a preamble for my poems, I thought perhaps "Outside the Box" deserved a little background.

This past year, I developed an unexpected and severe allergy to the chemical used in most permanent hair dyes called PPD or paraphenylenediame. I had to stop dying my hair cold-turkey as a result of numerous health complications surrounding the issue, and so began my transition to find out what silver treasure nature had in store for me that I'd been hiding for the last 25 years (yes, my old color came out of a box!) :~)

What surprised me, was actually my own reaction to the transition of going gray. I was more than a little irritated with myself when I initially found it hard to overcome the youth vs. age notion about coloring hair that had been drilled into me through advertisements and society over time. After all, one quick trip to the salon every other month, and it had been a non-issue!

In my quest for understanding, I ultimately found a terrific book called "Going Gray Looking Great" by Diana Jewell that helped me tackle what I was finding to be a difficult transition. Between her book and her website, the pictures and the stories, the advice and the reasoning from so many wonderful women, I found the support my mind needed to help flip the switch, chop my hair and embrace the silver strands that rose to greet me. I went from "having" to do this ... to actually "wanting" to do this. Today, I can happily say that I enjoy the lovely silver hue shining back at me through the mirror, and better still, I appreciate a confidence and strength that this type of transition brings from within.

What follows is just a little tongue-in-cheek poem that found it's way onto paper as I reasoned out my transitional hair turmoil this past year. :~)

(Updated 2015)

Outside the Box

Mother Nature breached the surface,  
Past the box triumphantly,
"Look at me!" She grinned with purpose,
Unabashed for all to see.

Strengthened by her brilliant entrance,
She transformed my dark to light, 
Rooted there, she staged her presence
As I quelled my growing fright.

There she shone with grace and glory,
All for one and one for all,
Geared to fight, she'd raised an army
Ready to advance or fall.

Just like clockwork, her persistence
Kept us feuding frequently, 
Such a hindrance, this resistance,
Poised to clash and mocking me.

How had this become my battle?
Was it ageless ticking clocks?
Was it all the whispered prattle?? 
Time to think outside that box!

Why did I succumb to pressure?
Was it not my choice to make?  
Would I find some hidden treasure
If I gave myself a break?

Patiently, I pondered knowing
If I threw that box away,
Somewhere lay my silver lining
Proudly veiled in shades of gray.

It was time to stop this nonsense.
Time to call a final truce!
This crusade was just a pretense
Bordering on self-abuse!

It was time to end this story.
Mother Nature “and” I won …
Silver shone in all its glory
Once that box and I were done!

© Kit McCallum 2012