Friday, January 23, 2009

My Beard - On Again Off Again

Pogon is the Greek term for ‘beard’ and trophy a Greek term for nourishment or growth. Pogonotrophy is the growing of a beard and I was involved in it.

My beard was a test. What would it look like? How would people perceive me? How would I respond to peoples’ reactions? How would Christine respond to it? She has historically, not hysterically, thank goodness, voiced her objections to facial hair on me. Would it be different now that I retained it for a while? I started growing it during our family vacation at the end of August and I have maintained it for five months. Have you picked up on the past tense? Yes, it’s gone.

Here’s what I found. I did and I didn’t care what anyone thought. This maturity level delighted me. My vanity and autonomy were intact. No one rained on my one man parade. Younger generations affirmed me thinking the beard was cool and older women said it was sophisticated. Men daring to comment said it made me look like the artist I pretend to be.

I enjoyed my goatee. It was fun to wear it. I didn’t plan on removing it. I just woke this past Wednesday and knew this was a shave day. It was a practical decision. My goatee bumped into my lifestyle. I want to be in and out of the morning shower and I want to shave while I am in there. Mine was a high maintenance beard requiring daily trim time.

In my pre-beard days a hairy Hindu neighbour informed me that Jesus never told me to shave and he urged me to grow my beard. I will likely grow it again. Perhaps mine is an occasional beard, a seasonal fuzz, but it will always be an egotistical adornment. It does make me feel manly, feeds my ego and image. What my beard will not be is a faith associated growth as it is for Sikhs, Hindus, some Jews, Amish, Hutterites, Old Colony Mennonites, Eastern Christian priests and Franciscans. Neither will my beard be utilitarian as though I required it for warmth in cold weather unless the lower mainland becomes any worse in winter than it already was this year. I can still afford Mach 3 razor blades if I determine to pull even the dull ones across my mug.

Nuts, now a man walked past my house with a nice white beard and I am jealous.
Pogonology is an actual term for study of beards. How bored must one be, yet I wonder whether it comments on the sense of nakedness one feels when looking into a mirror at a smooth face where once there were whiskers?

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