So this is what it's all been about for me, the OctoBeardFest beard-growing effort and the fundraising stuff. Today my mother, brother, my girlfriend and I went to the cemetery where I scattered my father's ashes (just about two years ago to the day). We went to remember him, to pay our respects as is the custom. My mother lay some roses at the base of the tree where his ashes were deposited, and lit a candle. Then we just thought about him for a bit and went home. It was sad, and joyful, and optimistic, and autumnal, and windy, and contemplative, and poignant. Good, overall.
Once home, I shaved my beard off. Halfway through, I took this photo. (I'd had this idea since the beginning of the month.) Bit of photoshopping of colour and texture later and this is the result. It's the same photograph, but weirder than I had even imagined. The monochrome, beardy me; haggard, nearly fifty, but quite distinguished I think, and the beard hiding my double chin quite well. The clean-shaven me, in colour, younger, "pixie-ish", my girlfriend says. All the same person in the same moment. This is a thing and it says something about a thing. And life, and thing.