I think just about every body knows something about Medusa, the Greek mythological character. She was a monster. She had snakes for hair. Looking at her would turn a person to stone. Right? Those are the basics.
One day, I got it into by head that she couldn’t have always been like that… What happened to her? And if she wasn’t always a snake-haired, stone-turning monster, how terrible must it have been to become that. Here’s the thing – I have thoughts like that all the time… I wonder if Superman and Lois Lane had a baby… would she have super powers? I wonder how on earth someone decided to eat the pooped out coffee beans that make super-pricey Kopi Luwak. I wonder how much taller I’d be if I’d grown up in on the moon… but they’re passing thoughts. They come, I wonder, they go. See ya.
But Medusa, she stuck in my head. I wondered and wondered. I started asking people if they new. I started Googling. And then I got the story… Medusa was shockingly, mesmerizingly beautiful. Beautiful enough to make a lady god jealous. And she was especially known for her gorgeous hair. Men fell over themselves just to touch her hair. So young, adolescent Medusa left her home town to go see the world. She went and became an attendant at Athena’s temple. There, Poseidon fell in love with her… and Athena caught them in the throws of passion in her temple. She was pissed. And jealous. And so she cursed this young, teenage Medusa to monster-hood.
Tragic, right? I mean, I have a 15-year-old step-daughter who sometimes does stupid stuff. And sometimes she doesn’t like the consequences… I did some stupid stuff as a teenager too. We all did. So just imagine being a teenager and being punished so severely. Heart-breaking if you really get present to it.
And so, I wanted to see this young, shockingly beautiful, tragic Medusa. I wanted to see her face. So I asked on Facebook, like you do… for people to help me. The first round of ideas and participants crashed and burned in my heart. I had to bow out as graciously as I could. Then Sarah Renee came on board, and then she jump off, and then she came back on. You can’t blame a hair stylist for being undecided when you ask her to create snakes in someone’s hair. Then, I found a dress. And then I gave it back. And then I went to another place for a dress, and they were closed. Ok Universe, I’ll make the dress. (not that I know how to make a dress) And then I had a model, who got her hair half done. And Sarah and I didn’t care for the ‘do. So we all went home.
And this is how things went until the one night when it all came together. I would have given up 10 times if Medusa would just have gotten out of my head. But she didn’t, and so here we are.
Ultimately, Sarah created a giant hair piece that she wove in and braided with Melissa’s real hair. Melissa sat there for no joke – 3 HOURS – while Sarah braided and wove. She created snake-ish shapes with pipe cleaners in the braid, and then I put in the “real” snakes in post-processing. Here’s two of them. There are a few more I’ll be doing up, but for now… Young Medusa exists and is out of my head.