Aug 8, 2008

Poetry Friday Challenge - Cut

Sometimes the razor bites you, sometimes you bite the razor.

Yah, sort of sets your teeth on edge, don't it. *G*

I've been meaning to blog about my own unique form of recycling. It's not so much recycling in the sense of 'using something and sending it back to be reused' as...stepping back a few decades to when things weren't disposable. Like razors.

Or in my case, shaving cream. I know, I'm already way off the cut, but hang in there, it's a shaving post. See, shaving cream comes in a pressurized can, most times. The can is empty, you throw it away or you recycle it, either way there's a disposable element. Me, I've changed that. I use a shaving brush, a mug and a cake of soap.

Not just any soap, mind you, but shaving soap. Made locally by a craftswoman out of goat's milk from her animals. She probably added in three or four drops of bay rum scented oil that she had to buy from heaven knows where, but it's all organic, local and best of all, none of it gets thrown away. Yes I still cut myself, but at least now it's in a good cause.

It was bought for me on a whim at a local Arts N Crafts festival two months ago, but you know, adding that little off-white mug with it's four dark blue stripes and the badger hair brush to my morning ritual makes me enjoy the whole process more. No more do I grab the can, squirt a dollop of eerie translucent green stuff into my fingers and gel it all over so it can froth up thirty times it's original size. No more do I empty an (expensive) can of it once a month and toss it in the trash, only to buy another (no recycling service around here.)

Now in the mornings I slow down a little. I step out of the shower and dry off, reach over to the shelf and take down my heavy ceramic mug and the brush with it's pale wooden handle. I lay the razor down on the counter, run the brush's bristles under very hot water and swirl it around and around the pad of pale yellow soap there in the mug. It took me a few weeks to figure out how best to produce the lather, how to hold the brush just so, how to let the leftover foam stay in the mug to help cement the cake in place, but now I'm comfortable with it. Up comes a fine white foam that fills half the mug, and this I swirl onto my waiting and stubbly cheeks, warm and smelling of some forgotten age.

Yes, before you say it, there is a sort of nostalgia present. I never saw either of my grandfather's shaving mugs and brushes, but I know they each had one. I don't feel like I'm communing with their long-departed ghosts when I shave, and I know that just because it's old fashioned it's not necessarily better. I just believe that all progress is not necessarily good, and it helps my battered soul smile a little to use a fountain pen when I write, to wear a fedora when I dress up nice, and to use a shaving mug when I have to scrape my cheeks. Why not enjoy a daily chore?

Don't get me wrong, I still use a razor with disposable blades. You won't find me trying to assemble one of those steel contraptions with the lethal 'safety' blades, nor will you probably ever read about me stropping six inches of straight razor on a leather belt before applying it to my delicate cheeks. No, I like my face right where it is, with as few self-inflicted cuts as possible. Mach 3 is plenty close for me, and as long as I have my cup and my brush I'm happy as a fellow with a new zoot suit.


Gordo said...

My Dad still has and uses the same Old Spice ceramic shaving mug that he's had since the 60's. He's moved away from the safety razor to disposables some time ago, though.

I don't have the beard growth to bother with a daily shave, but I do enjoy it. Giving a brush and mug a whirl, literally, is on my list of things to do.

Rudi said...

Gawd how I love to read something good, something fun. And I'm lazy, I'll admit something short and sweet.

You have brought a smile to my day!
(as you often do)

Thank you.

Mona Buonanotte said...

I love shaving brushes and mugs! 'Course I can't use ' do the acreage of leg and underarm, I'd need a shaving bucket.

Clowncar said...

I had a brief flirtation with the shaving mug and brush, back in the day, but soon resumed my lazy Barasol ways.

HATE fountain pens. Because I'm left handed. Lotsa smearing, doncha now.

My girls' favorite joke right now (taught to them by one of Dancehall's boyos): Where do sheep go to get their hair cut? The baa-baa shop, of course.

Yuk, yuk, yuk.

Nancy Dancehall said...

What Rudi said. Ok, well, night, actually. Damn insomnia. *s*

meno said...

I hope the local craftswoman tends her goats while wearing only organic cotton.

Irrelephant said...

Gordo, that is deeply cool. I love the fact that he still uses it, too, not just leaves it on a shelf somewhere to gather dust.

As for trying it? I strongly suggest "yes." *g*

Rudi, you are quite welcome. You really gave me a smile and a good feeling when I read that in my email. I should have come here much earlier to thank you, but know that I did then, too.

Mona, all you need is a willing and enthusiastic helper. Heh.

CC, I'm surprised! You always struck me as a Guy Off The Beaten Path. I hate to hear about the fountain pen failure. My fountain pens have followed me since college. The only thing I wish is that my penmanship were legible.

You know, being a parent, that some of those jokes are really quite funny, too. *lol*

Thank you, Nancy. *smile* You really need to get your rest; you've not blogged in two months!

Meno, she didn't seem like the full-blown hippie type, more like "the farmer who has found a profitable niche for otherwise smelly and vile creatures."

Clowncar said...

Irr, I love the idea of fountain pens, but left-handers can't use them. Writing left to right, your hand always smears the ink.

Now, if I ever learn to write in Hebrew, I promise I'll use a fountain pen.

Rayne said...

As things get more hurried and rushed and instant and plastic and fake and disposable I find myself digging in my heels and looking for permanence, a slower pace, and something to savor.
A shaving mug is a totally cool and perfect.
I love it.