I know, I know - this is all a little bit early, but in the Kabbalistic calendar we have already moved from lumbering, earth bound Taurus to flitty, flighty, up-in-the-air Gemini.
Now, I'm not saying that it is difficult for Gemini's to finish what they start, but since opening this blog post I've already changed my mind three times on what I want to write. And then I thought I might go and get something to eat, but I couldn't decide what, and then I listened to a bit of music and...
Where was I? Oh yes, beards.
It is beard season at the Kabbalah centre. Not a place that a pogonophobe would choose to be. Facial hair, by all accounts, (and maybe even other hair - I hadn't even thought about other hair) stores negativity. And so during the negative periods such as The Counting of the Omer, the men grow their beards as a form of protection. A kind of hairy shield, if you will.
Personally I would consider any beard as a shield that will keep them safe from women. Or at least, keep them safe from me. You never know what could be lurking in a beard. I like to keep a safe distance just in case.
Anyhow, I digress. Again.
What fascinates me are the variety of beards being grown at the centre and how they change the general appearance of the owner of said beard. We have full, thick, chunky beards, wispy beards, patchy beards, beards a totally different colour from head hair, beards that you could lose an arm in, and beards that you couldn't run barefoot through.
There are beard owners who have had beards before and seem at ease with their facial hair, deftly curling their moustaches out of the way of their top lip before they eat. And there are beard owners driven half crazy by their facial hair, scratching and rubbing away in discomfort.
The variety of beards is endless, and it reminded me of a conversation I overheard between two men when I worked at GSK. One of them was baby-faced and smooth skinned, the other had a defined five o'clock shadow by 10:30 every morning and was known to have grown a substantial beard during a single IT migration weekend.
"This is really amazing" said Babyface "I can't believe all of the stubble that you have at this time of day. I can leave my face for ages without shaving. You and I should get together some time and have a proper beard growing competition"
"Great idea" says the second guy "What are you doing Tuesday lunchtime?"