Thursday, October 30, 2014

The beauty in the shabby things.

Maybe it's because I went to art school and have learned to look at all things as a form of art...but I have to say that I've really come to appreciate the things most of us try to avoid or fix.
Like messy hair. My hair will never naturally conform to society's standards of conventional beauty, but I like my hair best when I've been outside and it's been blown around by the wind. Or when I first wake up and it's crazy.
I don't really mind little kid finger prints on windows or mirrors...or pretty much everything, because let's face it...little kids like to touch everything!
I like worn in furniture. Where you can see that someone found their sweet spot because it's the most worn in spot on the couch.
I love hand-me-downs. They're one of my favorite things. First of all, they're free...but additionally they're often perfectly worn in. They're soft, they make me think about the people who originally liked and bought them.
In our culture that loves trends and fads and new, shiny things I just find those old things to be so real and so refreshing. There's something comforting in them. To look at objects that have witnessed so many memories makes me appreciate them for being durable and constant. To see the evidence of life and learning in the trail of fingerprints left all over the house...seeing how the wind managed to style your hair after playing and enjoying the outdoors....there's something to those worn in things. They are evidence of a life fully lived and that is beautiful to me. I love the reality of it. I have lots of memories as a kid of exploring our farm and playing in dirt that led to messy hair and bruises and scars. There is photographic evidence that proves that I've been cleaned up and dressed up nicely too, which was fun. But the memories I cherish and the feelings of childhood that I wish to recapture most are the ones that involve the makings of messy hair, holey jeans, and the feelings of being carefree and beautiful just because I was enjoying myself so much.
The story is the beautiful thing. The history and meaning that is recorded in the daily messes we make and the wear and tear of our belongings is something I want to appreciate. Rather than viewing something as old and shabby I hope to always view it as well loved and used. Because that's how we are meant to be treated. Who wants a life that consists of being admired from afar and being untouched so as not to be spoiled? I would much prefer the grittiness of life as long as it's accompanied by love and meaning. I'd rather get old and worn in with lots of stories to tell than to be forever chasing youth and perfection.
What would you prefer?

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