Monday, August 11, 2014

Our Lady of Perpetual Help. Nightmare at the hairdresser

Our Lady of Perpetual Help  from Chris Hart Studio
I did it again!  I put my faith in the wrong hairdresser even though I knew in my heart it was chancy.  Being a desperate optimist, I can convince myself of almost anything, with the help of the devil whispering in my ear.  On this particular occasion I was in a hurry.   I forgot to pray to St. Mary Magdalene and now I need to pray to Our Lady of Perpetual Help since I have to live with the results of my hair for the next 8 weeks.  Lets hope she sees her way clear to meet me in the shower every morning where I slather my hair with conditioner, hoping to remedy the over processed mess.  I've put her picture by my mirror to help heal broken and fried ends, calm unmanageable frizz and quiet my soul so I can go out of the house in a state of peaceful tranquility.  No matter I know that happiness is found inside, not on the outside, I am still deeply affected by icky hair.  Truth is I don't want to spend much time on it.  I just want it to look effortless and fabulous all the time while I do important things. When it doesn't, I get all twisted up. 

Our Lady of Perpetual Help is an icon as old as the hills.  Everyone has seen the image or quite possibly, has noticed the image floating around their grandparents' house.  She has been a popular art piece even for non-Catholics.  The wooden icon panel of Our Lady of Perpetual Help is 16 x 21 and was crafted some time before 1499 by a Greek artist, it is believed.  The icon is an image that embodies and symbolizes the central mysteries of faith, redemption, salvation, loving intersession of Mary and glory of the Divine. This beautiful representation of Mary and Child shows St. Michael and St. Gabriel holding items of the Crucifixion.  The symbolism is rich and has been the subject of a variety of interpretations, debated for centuries but most agree that Mary is shown as the great intercessor between us and the Divine, the Star of the Sea, offering guidance to all who seek her assistance.

I figure I should be embarrassed to call upon her to help with my hair.  She has much more important things to help out with.  She has been credited with preventing cholera and small pox, numerous healings of the afflicted, helping sailors find their name it she can help out as her name implies.  My grandmother told a story about having butchered a calf and with a sink full of meat, canning and chopping and preserving going on in her kitchen, my Grandfather brought home the town mayor for dinner.  Being a tiny Swiss woman coming to this country with her daughter on determination and resolve, she wasn't someone to cross.  I think I know why the small print of Our Lady of Perpetual Help hung in a plastic frame by her kitchen door.  Our Lady is there for anyone who needs her no matter how small or how large the request.  The Perpetual Help part is great because that means she doesn't take time off because our troubles certainly don't.

My Grandmother, Maria Lenard
Unlike me, Gramma didn't court disaster because she had never had a haircut or colored her hair, not once.  She wore the exact same hair style her entire life, eliminating the whole frustration factor that can mess up 6 to 8 weeks of your life  So I look in the mirror each day and pray for a miraculous healing of this mess that is called a hair style.  I ask for help in making better decisions, to hear what my heart is telling me and not place so much value on a hairdo but more on what  I do.

I'm pretty sure Our Lady of Perpetual Help is willing to intercede for us even on the smallest things but I noticed that her hair is covered entirely by her veil.  Not even a strand is showing which leads me to believe even she had those days.