Tuesday, November 05, 2019

gone, gone, completely gone!

The beard is no more. Long live the double chin!

Expect pictures once I get a haircut to balance out the beard's removal. So as not to clog my bathroom sink, I shaved while standing over my kitchenette's sink. I never use shaving cream when shaving; normally, I just use bar soap, but in this case, I got all sudsy by using dishwashing liquid. I'd been worried that removing this much growth would take over an hour; in reality, the procedure took no longer than fifteen or twenty minutes. I'm grateful to have my face back again; that beard had been damn itchy. Every twitch of a facial muscle was a reminder of how hairy my face had become.

I've decided that, if I'm to do the Camino de Santiago with my buddy Mike when we turn 60, I'm going to follow Jesus' injunction against virtue-signaling. You'll recall that the Sermon on the Mount contains at least two examples of virtue-signaling that the faithful are not supposed to engage in: (1) praying in public (which, unfortunately, modern Christians do all the time, and loudly; Matt. 6:5), and (2) looking as if they're fasting while actually fasting (6:16). The idea, here, is that you don't wave your piety about in other people's faces. There's nothing humble or spiritually rewarding about that. So, with that in mind, if and when I do walk the Camino, I'll be shaving regularly. I'll save my "travel beard" for other, less sacred hikes.

(Of course, by announcing this on the blog, I'm violating Jesus' injunction...)


  1. Wait, you had a beard? I just thought your face was being attacked by a scruffy little animal.

  2. I wonder how many people will catch the Heart Sutra reference in the post's title: gatē, gatē, paragatē...

  3. I don't think a "Camino" beard would be virtue signaling. I hadn't given it much thought myself. Of course, I use a safety razor, badger brush, and bowl soap to shave and it is a pain in the arsenal to carry that even on short trips. I will have to consider this.

  4. Mike,

    That might be an argument for taking a renunciatory/monastic route: no shaving because shaving merely complicates things, and simpler is better when you're on a pilgrimage.

    I'm still thinking that a travel beard is saying, "Hey, look at me! I'm going on a pilgrimage!" The fact that I'm actually walking the Way ought to be enough. But maybe that's just me and my bias against facial hair.

  5. That's more a matter of how he's been drawn than what the Bible says. But, yeah: maybe he grew a beard during his forty days in the wilderness.



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