The Zen of a Novice Beardsman

i was recently asked to write a blog post for the guys over at Always Bearded. my initial gut reaction was, "what kind of advice could a bearded newbie like me possibly have to share?"

but then i had an idea. i could write from the perspective of someone who was struggling through the growth stage, something to inspire other newly bearded men through the "you really need to shave" comments, and offer some words of persistence and commitment.

so i had some fun with it. i wrote a lighthearted, yet epic and grandiose poem, something that might have been found written on a scroll in the mountains where Vikings once lived, found next to a bloody shard of rock, remnants of a man's last shave.

The Zen of a Novice Beardsman

we, the bearded,
each walk a different path,
for no two beards are the same.

knowing this immutable truth,
i shall free myself from comparison,
i will not think less of the hairs i do not have,
i will not be shamed for what has yet to grow.

i shall find peace in my present beard,
in this moment, right here and right now,
without wanting it to ever be more,
knowing that patience is its own reward,
and that a beard is grown
only one day at a time.

like the oils of jojoba,
kissed with the essence of almonds,
i shall feel gratitude wash over me
for all the whiskers i presently have;
no matter they be short or stubbly,
no matter they be long, wavy, epic curls.

and to all those beards who’ve come before me,
from the valiant Vikings of the North,
to the tribesmen in the South,
and to all the nomads who've wandered,
protected by the comforting hairs upon their face,
i vow to care for my beard
as nature would its own trees,
i shall butter and balm my beard,
with things only from the earth,
with the peel of a lemon and the leaf of a eucalyptus,
with frankincense and geranium, with peppermint and pine.

my strength comes from within,
but i wear it proudly upon my face.
for this is the boldness of the beard,
the path of the confident, yet humble man.

my beard bears the mark
that i've weathered the storm of my youth,
that i’ve earned the badge of man,
that i can now stand brave and firm
and toss away the blades
that once razed clean
my pink and fleshy cheeks.

we are each as unique
as the follicles on our face,
but we are bearded together
by the bonds of our bristles.
and by the hairs on my chin,
i shall not cut, i shall not shave,
but only trim.

i shall be,
always bearded.