Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Patina



I bought a table some time back. It was big, sturdy and distressed from an earlier life. Tony questioned the price but I said it was worth it. We wouldn’t fret over each dent or mark; in fact, our wear would add to the beauty and become part of its history. I liked the idea of leaving a “fingerprint” behind. Hopefully, one day this table will pass along to someone else.

The beauty of the well-worn fascinates me.  I imagine the stories behind the marks. Who used this before us? Was it always this rich shade of golden brown? Where has it traveled? Where has it yet to go?  What road did it travel to achieve this lovely patina?

Wear and tear are unavoidable. Bumps, bruises, wrinkles, and scars, they are all part of living – a visual proof of endurance, an inevitable part of creating history and memories. That wear and tear eventually become our personal patina.

There is beauty in what is pristine and new, it’s true. I am sad when something is chipped or altered.  But the only way to preserve perfection is to curtail use. A vase tucked behind glass is safe but rarely finds itself full of flowers.

I don’t like the wrinkles that announce the passage of time. I try not to sweat those inevitable changes, though. I am learning it is better to have patina than beauty. Beauty fades. Patina endures. Patina grows richer with each passing year.

Without a little patina, there has been no life.

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