No shave November this year took a slightly different course for me. To some degree I wear this hairy visage as a testament that I stand out from the crowd so I suppose it is only fitting that while the world turns one way that I should turn another. The beard is gone. Impressive as it was this time and even though I’m normally nearly a spokesperson for beardedness it is a fitting change at this moment for more reasons then I care to delve into. However much like Frosty returns each Christmas, my beard will surely return in its full glory even if only for a time.
Sweet Pea the menacing behemoth, the car of all cars and I spent Saturday out on the farm burning brush in the rain. She was a bit nervous when I popped that first road flare, but in no time and just a few more flares, she could see that her old man had things under control. The crackle of the fire along with the hiss of the rain soon rose from the pyre. My neighbors must have wondered to see such a sight as a man standing in the rain tending his fire. Brisk the wind blew, but hot the fire burned and so went my day. Sweet Pea’s looking forward to the day when she can spend these kind of days indoors and out of the elements that is for certain, but no complaining no sputtering just faithfully whirring and puttering in the background.
I went to see Matisyahu the other night at the Gilloiz and was sweetly rewarded by an absolutely great show of which I captured a little bit for you here. It’s shaky at first, but I promise it settles out quickly.
Download video: MP4 | Ogg
I also came across some photos that my mom had and much to my surprise and chagrin I was apparently a hipster back in the 8th grade. Who knew I was so ahead of the trend.
I have some other great pictures, but that is enough of the nostalgia for now.
I seem to keep slipping more and more into the grandpa fashions of today’s hipsters. It is an odd mix though because it seemed to happen rather naturally. My grandfathers old cardigan sweaters which have been in my closet for 10+ years without ever seeing the light of day were the first piece adopted. They have the ability of taking even the most stifling office work attire and softening it with a certain Mr Rogers appeal. The double upper chucks that I took on my journey’s so long ago still alternate back and forth with a set of Tom’s I have and also an old man pair of just regular, but also very comfy brown shoes. Attach a beard to all of this and you begin playing with fire. Either the self established non-conformist Eli style that is not tied to any one classification or the full on trendy hipster(that works a day job for “the man” and I might add for the most part really enjoys it.) who succumbs to the fashions of a much younger crowd than what should be attempted by this almost senior citizen. I guess the question should be is all this being done as an expression of who I am and what I enjoy or is it the wedging in of a look into my life so that I can be identified as part of a particular sub culture. There is always the lure to stand out from the norm or fit in with a unique set of people. Particularly because the professional office culture that I’m surrounded by each day feels so much the opposite of who I feel that I am on the inside.(skip down later for another note on this) The beard culture is very much this way. Without the outward sign of the beard the camaraderie of sorts between bearded fellows cannot instantly be recognized and shared between strangers. It provides an almost instant connection to a deeper level of understanding between two people. These outwards signs though do nothing but provide a mask and unless there is inner contentment and self-confidence then the expression cannot be genuine. (self-confidence not to be confused with the power of “believing” in yourself as today’s society might say, having us believe in the power of positivity or thinking of ourselves as supermen, but self-confidence that comes from recognizing the great value that is placed on our being by the God of the universe. Who seeing such a great treasure being lost set into action to redeem it.) …so what does my newly fashioned hipster haircut(with sorta mohawk) that I gave myself last night say?…probably mostly that I should find an actual barber.
note:(in reference when I told you to skip down for another note on this) I do suppose though that this could be a part of the living paradox that is my life. Thoughtful and (somewhat)rational behavior within a non-conformist, weird frame. It’s only fitting that my favorite author GKC steeps his writing in seemingly opposite, but at the same time related and complementary thoughts and beliefs. I grew up Pentecostal slowly migrating to progressive Southern Baptists to eventually an interdenominational church, but now most closely associate some of my core beliefs about faith and the world with a man who started his venture to faith as an agnostic before he wound up a devoted catholic. I work in a professional often very rigid financial industry, but would more closely identify with the lives of a gypsy or a nomad. I’ve learned to love button up boring work shirts and khakis right alongside of the various band tees and ridiculously corny shirts that inhabit my closet. I feel myself as an average person with the ability to understand life from multiple points of view, but don’t see very many other average people with the same ability out there.