This morning while i was checking myself out in the mirror as the shower was warming up (hey, don't pretend like you don't do it too), I noticed something about my appearance. It wasn't an empiphany or anything like that, cause I (like many others i'm sure) am very familiar with my imperfections. It was more like a reminder than anything else. They were always there, but i guess it became more apparent since my haircut: gray hairs. Too many to be cute; too little to be distinguished. All I could think of was, "Damn weeds, ruining the lush Eden that is my hair." I started conceiving excuses of the how the salt got mixed with the pepper: my parents, my school, no sleep, the drugs, the alcohol, the nature of my life. And so, naturally, i started plucking.
This reminded me of my dad. I picture him when i was younger, hoeing away at the weeds in our backyard, tirelessly fighting a losing battle and working on making his farmer's tan even more embarrassing. I would occasionally help by not really helping at all, swinging at 'em with a stick pretending i was a ninja or baseball player. "Stop fooling around and go for the root," my dad would tell me. This would ensure that they wouldn't grow back as fast. But needless to say, this didn't work too well. Their numbers would seem to almost double. I could almost hear them chanting, "If you strike me down, I will become more powerful than you can possibly imagine" or "Resistance is futile." (to all the geeks out there.)
But that's the way it is. Our life is littered with "weeds" that we have to maintain to keep our gardens beautiful... or at least enjoyable enough to look at. And not just the weeds we have to pull in order to keep up our appearance: the plucking, shaving, cleaning, geling, brushing, moisturizing, accessorizing, etc etc. But all the little things that's a part of our everyday life that keep us alive and healthy and a so-called normal being of society, like paying the bills, feeding ourselves, feeding our children (luckily not there yet), going to work, doing homework, or even coping with a lost loved one or a love that was lost. All these little things combine to make a pretty powerful force that we hopelessly fight enough to keep us alive another day. We don't really see it, though we feel it from time to time - or maybe all the time. But it's that picture of integrity that my dad painted for me, ingrained in my head, that helps me to keep fighting as long as I have ammo. And not to forget those friends that playfully hack away at those plants, like i did with my father as he adviced me to "go for the root."
P.S. - Happy Valentines Day to everyone.