Monday, December 19, 2011


I was sitting on the edge of the bed this morning when I first noticed it. I was getting dressed, taking my time, and I noticed it. A flash of light. That was it, a sudden flash of light as my hand passed under a nearby lamp.

I paused in my dressing and studied the back of my right hand, but my aging eyes couldn't make out anything that should have sparkled in such a way as I had just seen.

I went back to pulling on my socks. Suddenly, I caught sight of it again. I stopped and passed my hand back and forth beneath the lamp, and then I saw it. There it was, that flash of light, a single white hair on the back of my hand.

It wasn't long. It wasn't thick. Yet it had seemed to me to flash like a slew of silver sequins under brilliant stage lights.

I'll mention this to you in private (it isn't the kind of gossip I'd normally drop out on the streets), but this little white hair isn't my first. No, not at all.

Through the years, I've handled all the others pretty efficiently and ruthlessly; a sharp yank of the tweezers for the one or two or a slathering of goopy hair-coloring gel (the kind they make for men) for the swath of white across my beard.

This one, though, is different. Or I am different now. For one thing, I can't quite seem to find it on the surface of my hand in order to grip it between my tiny tongs. For another, who cares? I'm just going to leave it where it lies, a single white curl on the back of my right hand, waiting patiently to be joined by a party of its white-haired friends.

Until the day that happens, every now and then, I'll pass my hand before me in the light and try to catch another glimpse of that startling flash of light that brings to mind the memory of a shard of summer lightning or a falling star or a firefly flittering through the dark.


  1. beautiful, glenn. this feels sacred. 

  2. Thank you. If there's "sacred" here, it's the sacred of the commonplace.


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