I pulled a guitar off the wall Saturday morning for the first time in many a moon and spent a few minutes re-familiarizing myself with the beast. It was only a few minutes because after so long a time, my fingers tired fairly quickly. I did, however, morph from a cautious plunking of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” (starting all the way back with the basics) to diddling out the beginning of “Here Comes the Sun.” The first few bars are easier than I ever realized, although I went much, much more slowly than George Harrison did.
Thinking of George with his big bushy beard of the late 1960s and clean-shaven before and after, I considered my own forays with facial hair. My beard has come and gone over the years, disappearing at times when some notion of becoming more responsible has overtaken me, but breaking out again in moments of creative passion or rebellion.
Its latest appearance dates to the mass house arrest of the early pandemic response: “Oh so, you won’t let my barber close enough to cut my hair? Neither shall I shave my beard!” I was quite shaggy by the time The Powers That Be freed my barber from bondage, and while I appreciated being able to see without brushing the hair from my eyes again, I came to be fond of my smile surrounded by salt-and-pepper fur, and so this latest beard incarnation is closing in on two years now.
I have come to the conclusion that this face, adorned such, is “me,” or as close to me as any mortal covering can manage. I think I would feel even more like “me” if I could shed 50 to 75 pounds, but that may just be younger “me” wanting to break out of this aging shell. I would not object to relieving some of the crushing burden on my feet, however. I think they miss bearing that 180-pound load of years gone by and might even settle happily for 200 or 210.