Octobeard Check-in: The Itchy Revenge of Neck Beard

Regular patterns are hard to maintain, until they become self-sustaining…

How is this possible? Laws of physics (as written to date and relatively stable) suggest that objects at rest tend to stay at rest, and objects in motion tend to stay in motion..

Are psychic patterns not derivable ultimately from physical objects, and thus subject to such laws?

(No, probably not…)

But then, is that not inertia that keeps these patterns from self-sustaining? Do we not give a push to a slowed pattern when we consciously repeat it?

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Octobeard 2011 Check-in: In The Shadow of a Beard

There is an order to things. Gravity drags apples from trees and hurls them bodily at innocent proto-physicists who lay sleeping off mid-day mead. Sunshine blazes through scattered droplets of life-giving water and causes the easily amused and the hopeful to see pretty streams of light, and other physicists to poo-poo the sentimentality of accidental, trivial effects of natural laws.

And I have a beard, dammit!

Since removing my chinlocks, I’ve been fighting back a concussive wave of coughing, a explosion of sneezing, and a sleigh-load of sleeplessness. I find myself caught between natural difficulty in sleeping due to an over-active mind and the annoyance of ballistic phlegm dislodged by horizontal orientation. In plainer words, no night for two weeks has given me a continuous rest of more than 5 hours in length, and most nights have given me a total of no more than 6.

I have within me, the genes of bears. Or at least, it’s long been suspected. When I slumber, I do it long and deep, oblivious to whatever maelstrom might be hovering inches above my face. And I need to cease conscious existence for long periods, although I can, if pressed, remain awake and active for impressive amounts of time.

Perhaps it’s stress. Continue reading

Octobeard 2011 check-in: one week in

Octobeard 2011 headshot Oct 10

Octobeard 2011 headshot Oct 10

Well, it’s been a rough week to not have a beard. Lots of cold weather early on, with wicked winds which used to whip my whiskers, now able to stab at my shorn sides. Then, it got warm, just as the sprouting of the new beard starts, making it itchy and uncomfortable..

Still, I’m really eager to see it’s return. After a week, there’s a clear coverage of the face, with intense coverage on the lip and chin which had been the main part of my beard for so many years.

I plan to do something on Halloween, most likely partially shave to some bizarre, monstrous effect. I’m no virtuoso, and I’m not sure I’ll be able to do it, but we’ll see. I’m mostly curious about how the beard will grow in, and what I might build out of its growth for a pattern for my face.

With winter coming on, I want to have reasonable coverage, but I think I’m less inclined to simply keep a full beard for long. I like beards, I’ve always felt that my face looks proper with one, but I didn’t like the way that it became a metaphor for personal stagnation, if somewhat weak.

I’m also considering Movember. Continue reading

RIP, my beard circa 2003-2011: may you return soon

I, like most, have my fears, misgivings and sensitivities. Like most, I seek to overcome them when I can, challenge myself to face my insecurities and my beliefs and my stable yet unhelpful patterns.

I’ve just challenged another one: I shaved.

I have almost always conceived of myself as a bearded man. I have worn a beard for the better part of the last 20 years. On two or three occasions, I have shorn the beard entirely, just to rattle myself, or to stifle my dependence on that self-image, or something.

Actually, the reasons for my follicular violence are never that clear. In this current case, I can only point to a few motivating factors, such as my frustration over an inability to get a hair cut, something I’ve needed for months and yet have either conveniently found excuses against or have simply forgotten about. I detected this pattern of avoidance, but it’s a strong one and resists direct attempts to change with rationality.

Have I talked about my theory of patterns and mental behaviour before? Continue reading