Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Neither Fish Nor Fowl?

I came across this quote in the midst of a piece about mikvah, and it resonated with me in a very uncomfortable way.

"At one salon, a woman asked if my husband was home and when I responded no, she sighed in relief and pulled off her sheitl, wig. Women around the living room followed suit, pulling off sheitlstichels, scarves, and hats, a collective shedding of our inhibitions. This was a safe space to open up and be in solidarity as women."

It highlights the ways in which I am both part of the Orthodox community and in which I am specifically not.  I too would not remove my scarf if the host's husband were home- but without knowing in advance and packing a kippah or cap of some sort, I'm not going to take part in that collective intimacy of relaxing from the public face of hair covering- because I don't have a way of covering my head without my tichel on.  The issue is only accentuated since I presume some of this was a discussion of Torah, about which I feel even more strongly about doing with a covered head.

I don't think I've ever actually been in one of these situations.  But the thought of spoiling some sort of connection, or being excluded from it, because I am fulfilling two different Jewish values with my covering, is painful.  Yes, it's a pair of choices that I made- but out of a sincere attempt to follow halakha diligently.  Changing my mind would be a rejection of that.  But it can be something of a lonely place.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Experimental Tichel

This is something I put together a while ago, quite different from anything I usually do.
I started with the orange base scarf, then braided one side of that with a doubled-over scarf (the multicolored one).  Then I pulled the braid over my head.  But I now had some of that doubled scarf left over, and another orange tail.  So I twisted the orange tail with the dark red scarf, pulled it over my head, and braided the leftover red end with the leftover multicolored scarf.
Altogether, it felt like french braiding, only with scarves.  I liked how secure it felt.  It also reminded me of my mother doing my hair when I was a kid (which went on for quite a long time- through the end of middle school), so there was something nostalgic about it, too.
It made a higher and broader "crown" than many of the other styles I tend to wear, and at first I was a little insecure about it, but I did end up wearing it all day.  It held up well, and I might well do it again, if I can manage duplicating it.
What do you think- something worth practicing, and eventually making a tutorial for?  Something you'd try, or not?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Finally, Some Photos Again

I haven't been feeling all that inspired lately (as seems to happen frequently in the summer, when it's too hot for much in the way of layers on the head, for me), but yesterday I had some actual motivation, wherever it came from, and here's the result.  I have like twists lately, when I do anything creative.
Also, welcome to the first photos I'm sharing taken in our new apartment. I'm still learning how to set myself up so as to get enough light without setting the windows behind me.
Look out for an experiment from a while back, coming soon (it's worth seeing- I'm not sure if I could recreate it precisely, but it was quite a different look), hopefully photos from a family wedding coming up, and of course, more history and halakha posts when I get them written (there are some in progress).