Monday, April 30, 2018

Bearded wonders

In April, a friend from Germany and I made a bike tour in the northeast along the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal and Great Allegheny Passage bike trail systems that run from DC to Pittsburgh. Our trek took us through pretty remote areas, like Harpers Ferry and Shepherdstown, West Virginia. During an overnight in Frostburg, Maryland, my friend and I had a beer at Dantes Bar. All at once she tapped me on the shoulder and dragged me to the next room to point out a man sitting alone, drinking a pint and staring at his cellphone.

"What?" I said. "What is it?"

"The long hair and beard. What does it mean?"

She was referring to the man's long, bushy white hair and voluminous white beard. "All kinds of guys have long hair and beards," I told her. "I don't think it's any one particular group. In America, it has more to do with personal preference."

"Oh, but no one looks like that in Germany. I never see this," she said. She seemed to think the long hair and beards were a political symbol, like the Phrygian cap meant liberty to the French.

I couldn't prove it didn't represent a political statement, but I did find the Urban Beardsman for her ("Our Urban Beardsman blog explores topics for beardsman, as well as beyond the beard, including style, grooming, travel, community, and insight from the founder"). Check out this blogpost: "5 reasons long hair and beards can be found at the same bars." FWIW.

Once she'd pointed it out, I started noticing big beards everywhere.

These beards aren't scraggly. They look so lush in part due to product -- conditioners, oils and balms. Ever since, bearded wonders have been cropping up everywhere I look. Even at the Dayton Art Institute.

Painting by Flemish artist Peter Paul Rubens (1612).

Marble sculpture of Christ (attributed to Cristoro Solari 1468-1524)

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Hair energy

Is it just my imagination? Whenever I get a haircut, it takes several days for my hair to adjust. I leave the salon with everything in place, but the next time I wash it, my hair won't behave. It seems to recoil, the ends blunted and awkward somehow. It usually takes a week or so for it to calm down.

I thought of this weird haircut backlash recently, when browsing "hair energy." The third entry on Google showed up as: "Is there a spiritual importance to hair? / Secret Energy." The article leads with: "Hair is certainly an antenna," followed by this graphic image link to a cross-section of a hair (on wikipedia), and the statement that hairs have "tentacles for sensing not only physical objects in proximity but are sensitive to the more subtle fields of etheric energies." Wow.

Another web site about the spiritual nature of hair elaborates on the antenna principle thus:
Hairs are the antennas that gather and channel the sun energy or prana to the frontal lobes, the part of the brain you use for meditation and visualization. These antennas act as conduits to bring you greater quantities of subtle, cosmic energy. It takes approximately three years from the last time your hair was cut for new antennas to form at the tips of the hair.
Ouch. No wonder I'm so often in a daze. I don't have hair antennas, and haven't since my mid-twenties.

Another web site -- The Healing Powers of Hair -- offers an 8-point list of things you can do to maximize hair energy, concluding with 8.) Cutting Hair. "If you absolutely have to cut your hair, do so when the moon is waxing. This will help stimulate your hair to grow back quicker and more luscious. Also, avoid cutting your hair after the sun sets."

Originally, I searched "hair energy" because I was thinking about how hair takes a lot of energy--washing it, styling it, periodically going to the salon. Hmm. It would seem my hair will supply me with plenty of energy, if only I let it.