In a country such as South Africa, the word comfort is synonymous with a variety of things. To the layman, fabric softener would come up as a common choice, and Gordon is a depiction of such a versatile product. It takes much to break down the stringency of hardened fabrics and maintain the luxury of fleeces. There is a saying ‘the same water that softens the potato, boils the egg’ – it is not whom Gordon is, but the resoluteness he is made of.
Faded denim straight cut jeans that he has had for years sit relaxed on his imposing frame, a hearty laugh escapes him and a joke that is most probably not suitable for work hours slips out. Gordon Beard is a jolly man, despite the ragged bags that perch under his dark eyes. Whilst most people are in the lull of a comatose sleep, Gordon toils away. Mornings start more or less the same, with a brisk ride along dusty roads. The jolt of pain from his collarbone is a reminder that some falls are harder to get up from than others, although decommissioned for a debilitating six weeks, he would never let his passion for not only his job but his staff, suffer.
The Production Leader of Comfy Lounge, is dedicated and can be found flurrying about, pulling late night shifts and standing up for his workers – the respect that is endowed him by the boisterous factory is testament to his unfailing ethic. Until recently, Gordon was a pendulum, managing two factories successfully. With a strong willed wife and two young children, it’s a remarkable site to see the ease with which he drifts into various roles and still makes time to pursue mountain biking and the odd lashing on the squash court.
Gordon, at face value, is intimidating, but his hearty voice and genuine concern for all of the members of Mattland betrays him. Couple a rebellious concertation with a mouldable heart, you find yourself in the presence of a complex simplicity. The intelligence exuded is subtle, undermined by wit, splashes of sarcasm and male bravado, positioning him to encourage those around him to sometimes output superhuman results, maybe this is the essence of a comforter.
Gordon is multifarious and forever changing, a fluidity similar to fabric snaking against the storm, and should you ever have him in the same place for long enough, then you would be able to peer into the rarity of the paradigm that he is – both strong and weak simultaneously, like watching opposites become intertwined. Gordon is more than a simple couch man, more than a body seated on a bike, more than a father, more than Reeves on his first flight, more than just manager. He is encouragement personified, the shot of whiskey to calm shattered nerves, the hug to a child that has fallen, he is the comforter.
My comfort zone begins at the start of a challenge. True comfort can only come from surpassing the things we find most uncomfortable
– Gordon Beard, Production Leader
Written for SHF by Keanon D
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