Once you have broken the overwrought pattern, the ends of it wave back and forth, madly trying to connect to other things. New patterns form, weak and unsupported, very tenuous and temporary. Strange insights may be had at this time, as the patterns are formed in your mind, and it feels freer than ever, frighteningly, exhilaratingly, intriguingly so.
The interesting thing about a spiral — even one that you are out of control in! — is that it comes close to the point where you were before. You can see it, just over there. If the spiral isn’t regular and smooth, the points may even cross over, intersecting but with trajectories in opposite directions. You can linger at that point, but the movement won’t be in the same direction.
Life seems like that, sometimes, composed of moments that are similar to the past, occasionally repeating but never quite going the same way. We all live in spirals of our beings, some more stable and with many coincident points, others so chaotic as to rarely cross, still others never crossing, either moving further and further out with every circulation, or moving to a tight-knit focus of activity, where their world collapses into a singularity of being.
What’s difficult to tell is which curve you are on, because in each of them any single moment could be so localized as to not show direction…
What shape is a moustache? I started shaving one week into this process, roughly, because I didn’t have much of anything to shave before then. Each week, day by day, I’ve been making minor adjustments to the shaving, subconsciously spiraling around the design but never directly considering it. And yet, there is form and shape and design.
I’ve opted to lower the sides — or rather, allow the sides to be unharvested — resulting in something unique, something older in style. In recent days, I’ve looked at it in wonder, thinking: what sort of person do I look like now? Do I look like me?
How, of course, could I not look like me? Really, all outward expressions are somehow reflective of my inward appearance, this subconsciously-conscious form no less than the rest.
It’s somewhat like looking at an alternate universe, where this is what I look like as I approach 40. In that universe, I appear to have an earthy life, or perhaps I’m a businessman. I’m carrying too much weight (my face is entirely too round), but I’m not self-conscious about it.
Strange, that I can describe things about the photograph as if it weren’t me! They aren’t entirely wrong, perhaps..
Until the days I wear a vest.
I don’t really dress up. I’m not a fashion person — never have been. Could never afford fashion, found my money better spent on getting bills paid and when a bit was left over, some entertainment. Never had any place to go that needed fancy clothing. Never really had a job that required much for a dress code.
And yet, I really actually like the look of a tie..
I like conventions, specifically science fiction and fantasy conventions. This is an excuse to dress a bit differently, to dress fancily or with great fancy.
I never have (not really). I’ve wanted to, but I really don’t know the first thing to do. I admire those who do costuming greatly, but I’m not sure my heart is in it.
Instead, now I’ve created Dress-up Day. In which I wear my modest but comfortable “costume”, my fancy clothing that otherwise just sit in the closet, neglected in lieu of easier clothing to wear. Sure, it doesn’t take much to wear a shirt ‘n’ tie ‘n’ vest ‘n’ dress pants, but it takes even less to wear shorts or jeans and a t-shirt.
How easy it is to not dress up! How lazy we all have become! I look back in awe at the (undoubtedly skewed) vision of the late 19th/early 20th century, where people actually took clothing a bit more seriously. I don’t want to be that extensively wardrobed all the time, but I want a part of that time..
The steampunk movement is also encouraging. It seems to seek out a bit more complicated and ornamented lifestyle from a bygone era, enhanced with symbolism of the manual and industrial labour. I think it’s a fantastic rejection of the hyper-efficient, stripped-down and minimalist ideal. That ideal probably is partially the fault of computers, who have dramatically and drastically simplified and reduced so many aspects of our lives, making us desire the equivalent simplifications in every other aspect of our lives. Electronics and plastic have replaced gears, springs, wood and metal, creating a somewhat stifling uniformity that likely created the condition for which Steampunk emerged..
All that from a moustache and a vest! Well, maybe the tie this week put me over the top..
As always, go to my Movember page to donate on my behalf to support awareness and research about men’s health. I’m not really the competitive type, but your support would mean something to me.