Tuesday, 27 April 2021

730 things — Day 47 of 365

Still thinking about make up and beauty products — one of my favourite calming and strengthening places to go online is Youheum's Heal Your Living channel on YouTube. 

Youheum is an Extreme Minimalist, and as part of her own practice she has stopped wearing make up. She explains about the path she has chosen with regard to skin care and make up in this video.

Though her perspective and approach are not exactly the same as mine, I love the heart she brings to her sharing and I find her videos always do me good.

Yesterday I showed how, though I don't want to be without make-up entirely, I do want to keep it minimal and simple — and I threw away or gave away several cosmetic items.

I mentioned that among the things I gave away were three lipsticks I'd had that someone in my family wanted to try out to see if the colours were right for her. So that's the first of today's items to go.

My second item leaving today is a small bag of really good hair grips, which I gave away with a bag of clothes. 

I have kept just one because, even if I have short hair, we are living in uncertain times and I haven't been able to have my hair cut since the beginning of December when we came out of lockdown for a brief while. So the last few weeks I've needed to clip back my fringe to keep it out of my eyes. I have tried wearing headbands, but I don't like how they look on me.

I've thought about growing my hair, or at least having it in the sort of style I can cut myself (as I often have before) — which would be a frugal option. But at the moment I would really like to have it short again, and though I like to be very thoughtful about how I channel my financial resources, I feel that haircuts are a life-enriching happiness thing, allowing skilled and gentle people to make a living, affirming personal choice and enhancing humanity. 

In former years, I officiated at a lot of weddings in the churches I pastored. At one time, ours was the only church in the area that looked like a church — as in, traditional, stone-built, with stained glass and a spire — where people previously married and divorced could have a church wedding. This meant couples flocked to our place to get married, and through the warmer months of the year I often had at least two weddings every Saturday (the most popular day for a wedding, as guests were most likely to have a day free from work).

Of all the weddings for which I prepared a couple for marriage and officiated, two stand out in my mind as having a notable kindness and gentleness, a very loving and human-friendly vibe palpable in the whole congregation — and both were the weddings of hairdressers.

Ever since then I've had a place of reverence in my heart around hairdressers; it's a work that seems to deepen and sweeten the soul. So although I do have to be careful how I allot my money, I am very happy to spend some of it on going to the hairdresser to have my hair cut.

That's what I'm doing this morning, as it happens. So I won't be needing those hair grips any more! I have kept just the one tucked away, though, just in case we get a third Covid wave and are all sent scuttling back into the safety of our homes — because my hair grows like wildfire, and it would not be long before I needed that barrette again!


Zillah said...

I gave up wearing make up about 10 years ago, and really haven't looked back. I needed to steel myself the first time I went to a wedding without make up, but since that first time I don't even consider it anymore.

A while ago, while washing up after post-Quaker Meeting coffee, someone commented that it's easy to wash up Quaker mugs as Quakers generally don't take sugar or wear lipstick. Another form of simplicity!

I'm saving your video recommendation to listen to while I wash up later. I'm no minimalist, but I appreciate the ideas and inspiration.

Pen Wilcock said...

You are a Quaker? Honoured to have you here, Friend. That's probably where I'll end up, once we're all let loose after the pandemic.

Zillah said...

Thank you, Friend. You seem like you'd belong there.

Pen Wilcock said...


Evan Humphry said...

I like Quaker simplicity and have always had an interest in it. You say that is probably where you will end up after the pandemic. Where were you at before the pandemic? How would you describe your faith journey over the years penelope? (maybe there is a post on this site about it?)

Also, I was wondering where I can buy your Hawk and Dove books so that you receive the most benefit?

Sandra Ann said...

Catching up with you Pen and I love your comment about the hairdresser - you really suit your hair short, it frames your face beautifully ❤️ Hope you have had a good day today love San xx

Pen Wilcock said...

Hi San — waving! Thank you; it was a nice day but tiring! I haven't been further than Asda for a year, apart from a hurried dive into the salon for a haircut in early December. But then it was dark and blowing a hooley so I was just quick in and out, where today I wandered around Hastings Old Town and took my lunch to eat on the beach. x

Pen Wilcock said...

Hi Evan, nice to hear from you.
I grew up in rural Anglicanism (the village church). In my late teens I worked with monks and nuns in different monastic settings, and at university in York I belonged to an experimental inter-denominational lay community; one of the Ampleforth monks was our chaplain. He received me into the Catholic Church. I was drawn to the Poor Clare way of life, but in the end felt led to get married. When I was expecting my first child we moved to the other end of the country (to Hastings on England's south coast, where I live now), near my husband's parents. At first I went to an Anglo-Catholic church there because my husband got a job as their organist, but after my second child was born I found it hard to manage the different needs of a baby and toddler in that formal church setting, so I began to go to worship at the Methodist church with my parents-in-law. We were also strongly involved with an Evangelical Charismatic inter-church group over some years, and at the same time became close to some Hutterites in a nearby community — at one point we explored the idea of joining them. But I settled in at the Methodist church, and over time became a Methodist Local Preacher and then a Methodist minister. I was very involved in hospice work, and was a school chaplain for a while.
My first marriage ended in difficult and traumatic circumstances, but I married again. My second husband died unexpectedly after we'd been married fifteen months. A couple of years after that I got married a third time, to Tony who had been the editor for my books for about twenty years. He and I continue happily married now, fifteen years later.
It had been a bumpy ride one way and another. My marriage to Tony involved a geographical uprooting, and there were problems kicking off in my family of origin. At some point I burnt out completely and left Methodist ministry and the Methodist church, and attended Quaker meeting for a year. Then we moved back to Hastings and I went to Quaker meeting for a year there. But my husband attended an Anglican church, and after a while I went there to be together with him in worship. I settled in there happily and became their church council secretary, preaching sometimes. But a change of pastor brought an end to my preaching, which I still felt called to do. So I returned to Local Preaching in Methodism, and have been doing that for a few years.
I've grown increasingly uneasy with the focus on buildings and fundraising and away from theology and mission. I feel unease about paid clergy and church hierarchies — the large and inflexible superstructure of dogma, authority, finance and admin. Especially since the pandemic and Brexit, that along with government corruption and bias against the poor, have devastated so many lives, I have come to feel it inappropriate that the church absorbs so much community money for its ecclesiastical buildings — small congregations in large dilapidated chapels.
Since the pandemic I've been running an online fresh expression of church (The Campfire Church on Facebook). During that time I've come out of the Methodist church again, and this time I won't be going back. I love my Methodist friends and haven't fallen out with anyone, but Methodism has strayed a long way from its roots.
So I've been wondering what comes next. I'm not sure, but am always drawn to the Society of Friends — I love them — and may well return there.
You can get my Hawk & Dove books on Amazon, or I think Eden online Christian bookshop is good — I think they give a good discount on a first order. I'm so glad you're enjoying reading that series.

Evan said...

Sorry for the late reply Pen! Thank you for sharing. What a diverse journey of faith! It is unfortunate how institutional and hierarchical churches have become, in the U.S. the turn off is how similar they are to just being a business. The scene in the UK seems much different than the Evangelical scene in the US. There seems to still be mainline denominations over there. Although it sounds like fall prey to the same issues as the non-denominational churches elsewhere. Which seems to be economics, churches competing in the marketplace.

Good on you for continuing to gather even with your discouragement with the Methodist church.

I don't know what comes next either. 2020 was quite a revelation in a lot of ways. Here in the US it revealed what churches actual priorities were, unfortunately it seemed to be in the wrong place.

Whatever community you find yourself in next will be very fortunate to have you and all of the wisdom you bring. (From what I have derived from the Hawk and the Dove series at least!)

Pen Wilcock said...

Hi, Evan! Waving! Blessings on your journey.