By Sam Yang - Get similar updates here
Once or twice a month I participate in the millennium-old ritual of the razor shave. Facial hair is making a renaissance but for me, like the crops, what is sown must be reaped. The shave brings me to balance.
To use a blade to shave another is work. To do so without cutting them is craft. I must yield to the craftsman and let go. This connects me to the craftsman, to a tradition, to a time when blades were standard. When they served utility; when they weren't only seen as objects for harm, but also as healing instruments.
The razor shave dates back to the Bronze Age. For most of history, barbers were as highly regarded as doctors and priests. Through this ritual, I am in communion with an unbroken chain that links back to Egypt, to the birth of civilization. When a treat didn't mean food, money, drugs, nor something you gave your pets or children; when a treat was also proper self-care.
The shave is a splendid experience. For artists to flourish, we must appreciate artistry in all its day-to-day forms. I grow more appreciative of good craft and skilled craftsmen.
It is ubiquitous to say one is spiritual but not religious. That is the shave, an ancient spiritual practice that leaves you feeling tremendous.
Find a good craftsman, learn the history, and give the barber a nice tip. They are our keepers to the past.
Useful Companions to This Article:
- Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work - Matthew B. Crawford