Saturday, March 22, 2014

Morning meditations

While my recent change in duties has had its challenges (have you noticed that no one ever calls at 3 AM to tell you that things are going right?) I would be amiss in not admitting that there are some perks as well.

Strange as it may seem, while the 8 - 5 (more-or-less) workday and the weekends and holidays (usually) off are -- indeed -- nice; I find myself thoroughly enjoying my morning shave.

Over the last decade or so I had perfected the art of the shower shave: once the shampooing and the soaping was done, I could run a double-bladed disposable around my face (no mirror required, thank yew verra much!) check for missed stubble with my off-paw, then out of the shower and head-first into my schedule.

Now, I look forward to my morning ritual.

There is something almost Zen-like in rubbing the pre-shave into my beard; running the brush under the water, the precise strokes of the blade, re-wetting the still-frothy brush and reapplying the lather, more precise strokes -- against the grain now -- followed by a cold water rinse, and the after-shave.

You don't hurry -- unless you like bleeding -- and this engenders a calm, meditative state of mind which allows me to formulate plans to deal with most of the dragons waiting at the office before I'm even dressed.

For me, at least -- the Gentle Reader may find that his Mileage May Vary -- the feeling of a good, close shave; of being neat and well-groomed, puts me in the state of mind from whence any unexpected dragon that may rear its head may be dealt with by way of a raised eyebrow and a calm suggestion or two.

Maybe a sip of tea if it happens to be a particularly gnarly dragon.

Looking at all the purple faces I see on the way in to work, and at work, I have to wonder if more of the male side of the species might benefit from starting the day with an old-fashioned shave.

Probably couldn't hurt.

LawDog

15 comments:

Chip said...

I recently went back to shaving with a brush and blade too, partly for cost but I also then apply an aftershave with sunscreen, as I am of the pasty white Northern European variety. After a learning curve to avoid bleeding I too find I very much enjoy the ritual.

On a Wing and a Whim said...

So, at what point do you learn to be calm to the point of seeming absent-minded while the office is flooding and the natives are rioting, snakes are heading under the chest and lizards are falling from the thatch?

Old NFO said...

Calm... Ah yes... Those 'few' moments early in the morning... :-)

Robert McDonald said...

Started using a straight razor a couple years ago to save money. Have not looked back.

Robert McDonald said...

Started using a straight razor a couple years ago to save money. Have not looked back.

Wraith said...

I've thought the same thing for years. True, the safety razor, electric shaver and all the modern conveniences are...well, convenient. But, in our rush to abandon the time-tested rituals of the Man, I fear we've lost something very important.

Anonymous said...

Good Sir You neglect mention of the heated moist cloth to soften said whiskers,and a brisk stropping of shaving implement.Badger hair ,being the mark of civilization.

DowneySoft said...

I agree, I started respecting my shave recently after reading this 5 part series

http://www.artofmanliness.com/2013/12/16/the-rites-of-manhood-mans-need-for-ritual/

All five articles are linked at the bottom of the post.

I realized I needed the shave, instead of a chore, it is me preparing my mind for the day, building my inner strength, focusing my energy.

I only shave once a week (the joys of being a code monkey), but I really enjoy my time doing it.

Gopher said...

Blade and brush have become something of a hipster fad these days. New implements for this endeavor have become quite spendy also. While I wear a beard seven months or so a year I still shave with a 45 year old Gillette razor. Blades, however, are becoming a bit of a problem. No one around sells them anymore.

Cameron said...

Gopher, I have had luck with Amazon for my safety razor needs. CVS and Rite Aid also carries them on occasion.

Wombat said...

Not being male, I can't personally speak to this from personal experience, though it does confirm a theory of mine and I must say there is something about feeling well groomed, clean-cut, and neat; it really sets you up for the day. I must also confess a fascination with old fashioned shaving kit.

Melinda Moss said...

Love this. You captured the feeling I got as a child watching my father shave. Meditative state, indeed. Nice job.

Gerry N. said...

On June 2, 1968, the day after Da Missus and I exchangede vows she asked me to grow my beard. I have only trimmed the edges in those forty six years. I still trim using my Daddy's old Gillette for which I have no problem finding blades. He bought it when he enlisted in the Army in 1939.

RM1(SS) (ret) said...

I wasted entirely enough time shaving during my 21+ years in the Navy. I've only shaved once in the ten and a half years since I retired.

Ross said...

With the exception of 4-odd years in the early 80's (when I was bribed to shave by the offer of college tuition), I have worn a beard since I was 17 - 1977. I'm not sure anyone would even recognize me without the facefur. And quite frankly, I like the beard.

Obviously, this is simply my own opinion.