Patina!

(An excerpt from “Moving Forward Through Life’s Shit Without Stinking! A Book About Learning to Smile Again” –Urbanski)

I have always loved antiques and even had a little store for a few years. There’s terminology in the antique world called “patina”. What patina means is that there are chips, cracks, bumps, bruises —- character marks that may give a greater beauty and value to a piece of art, collectible or furniture.

An antique piece can be refinished, or painted but the ones with patina, although marked, have incredible appeal. The piece with patina has withstood the test of time and may be ugly to some, unique to others, and have that “the perfect look” for someone’s decorating. Antiques with patina that have value are still functional. Sometimes people will invest quite a lot of money, knowing that a particular piece is one of quality; or, one of strength that will still be around for a long time to come. Patina is considered beautiful, valuable and appealing. Patina varies on furniture or a collectible, so each piece is one of a kind, although there may have been many like it in the past. Each piece is rare and has its own unique character and value. Patina is often loved and admired.

two gray kettles on table
Photo by Melanie Oliver on Pexels.com

I like to think of people who have stood the test of time, no matter how young or old, to have the beauty of patina.  Those extra character lines around your eyes, the silvering hair and wisdom from your experience can be thought of as life-patina. You are unique! You may have bumps, bruises and stories. You are a person of terrific value and you are stronger than you think. However, you might not yet know your strength and value. Possibly you have forgotten how wonderful you are!

There are many different characters that come into an antique store. Some customers want their purchases to be absolutely perfect. They examine each piece they are considering and even bring a loop with them (small magnifying glass). They have high expectations for their purchase and regard anything with the slightest mark as worthless.

Then there are people who understand that a small scratch can be easily hidden, turned or simply dealt with. They know they are getting a great quality piece at a reasonable discount. They understand and work with the piece.

The crafters and re-purposers are fun. They look at items and see something different for their future, with hammers, paint and a bit of vision they can re-create something incredibly beautiful for their home or to sell again at a profit.

The Patina folk just love stuff for what it is.

The antique store is a great analogy for relationships. There are people who will never understand what you’ve been through, how many years you’ve suffered. They don’t get why you’re still mourning or have PTSD. All they want is their definition of how your life, your emotions, your decisions should be. They want you to be perfect by their definition alone. They aren’t bad people, but they can be pretty hoity-toity about you. They don’t take into account that you were dropped, bumped into or broken. They don’t mean to be an ass, but they can’t help themselves. Take this into account. They simply can’t understand. It is impossible for them. When you are forced to deal with them, try to let them walk around the store, let them pass over the stuff they just can’t handle and then walk away. At the same time, know you will never change them, they are who they are, don’t be offended by their (unreasonable) expectations.

At the same time, when they express their dislike for something, be brave! Politely let them know that all things are not perfect, some people have scratches, marks and bruises that others can appreciate. Be proud of who you are. Each thing that has caused some imperfection in their eyes has not defeated you. You are still standing, breathing, surviving. You are of great value . . . too bad they can’t see that, but don’t you dare allow them to let you think you’re something less-than! Let them walk away . . .

Then there are people like the customers who understand that there are pieces in the store that will have great appreciation for the artistry and craftsmanship that antiques offer. They simply accept the fact that there might be some “flaws” but know you are very strong, they will love you for the fact that you’re still able to function. They might not be able to handle the deep wounds, but they can still be great to be around. When they receive life-wounds, you are the one they will come and sit with and find comfort.

The Crafters and Re-purposers can see a beautiful future for you! Their visionary abilities are so refreshing, and they can help you to realize that you need to stop dressing like shit because you feel that way. They will encourage you to get out, and to re-adjust to the new life-situation. They will show you something you are unable to see yourself. It doesn’t change what happened in the past, good and bad. They help you to take that broken part and use it in a different way. They help you to freshen up, or maybe even try something you never have tried before. They are fun, they push you to your limit.

When I re-purpose a piece of furniture, for instance, I sound like a freak when I say, “It has to speak to me.” I carefully observe the lines, the current structure and possibilities of what it can become. I enhance the beauty and burn what becomes totally unusable. Sometimes a piano becomes a shelf, a press-back chair becomes a necklace. I know, but it’s what she told me she wanted to be! —I just helped her realize that! I’ll be the first to admit, sometimes re-purposers can get out of hand. Be open to their suggestions, but don’t let them push you into something that you don’t want. Let them help you enhance who you are. Let them give you suggestions that allow you to enjoy life again, to think about the future in a new way so you can enhance the wonderful things about you and have the bravery to throw the broken, hurtful bruised up nasty parts into the fire! Did you know that the Ancient Greek word, katharsis, means purification or cleansing came from fire?  Maybe it’s time to light a candle, and ceremonially throw some things in the fire. Then allow your repurposing crazy life crafters help you rebuild yourself without all that crap holding you back.

Lovers of patina. They simply take it as it is, and so can you! Wear those scratches, cracks and bruises proudly. They give you character. They were difficult to receive but have helped to make you the strong survivor of life that you are! Put yourself in a prominent room of the house and allow people to marvel at your strength, tenacity and ability to still be so beautiful!!!! How can I say that . . .? Because you are!

Enjoying the Adventure!

Dr. Dink

 

 

 

The Upside-down Burning Chair

Yes, this is a photo of a burning chair, and kind of sad, but I’m thankful for it. Being an antique dealer and lover of all things old, I have a deep respect and honor for old, inanimate objects like pieces of furniture, trinkets, jewelry, photos and crystal. What do I mean by honor? Well, a long long time ago, in a land called, “antique” furniture and other items were made by hand. Carvings were just that, literally carved by hand, not manufactured. China tea cups were painted with the greatest care. It is a fascinating world of beauty and craftsmanship.

I have foundmyself sitting at marked up old kitchen tables with obvious wear marks and wondered, as my fingers ran across the surface, who sat here? Did they drink coffee in the morning? Beer or wine with dinner? Did they tell family stories and argue about who was washing the dishes and play poker?

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Antique mirrors intrigue me too. As I gaze at my own reflection I wonder who else has looked into this beautiful mirror and checked themselves out? Does this fit? Is this a good color? Am I pretty? Will he like it? Did she have self doubt of great confidence?

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Check out my blog, The Brow Bag Letter to see my appreciation for antique photos, they slay me. Most photos are anonymous that are still here with us today. Names unknown, people forgotten. So yes, I honor inanimate objects without apology.

Imagine me, the one that loves and honors antiques burning a 100 year old chair in my fire pit. I do try and re-purpose or refinish what I can, but this one was without hope. The caning was ripped and it had some breaks in the wood. Truly not savable, so yes, I burned it. As I placed it in the fire and felt the warmth of the embers, I wondered, who sat in this chair? I sat and relaxed with a glass of wine and contemplated the possibilities, which of course reminded me of special memories.

Sometimes memories seemed burned up or long forgotten, like the people in antique photos, then something triggers a memory, and you are THERE. again, in your mind as if it is just happening.

This chair remind me of:

Coffee with Mom on a Saturday morning and sitting at the table while she ironed Dad’s shirts. There were many great conversations about family, love, boyfriends and girly silliness and giggles.

The day a man from Church that stopped by the house and I invited him in for a cup of coffee. As we sat there in the kitchen talking, my incredibly friendly German Shepherd was growling every time he lifted his cup. Evidently Corey didn’t think he was trustworthy and was very protective. Grrrrrrrrr

My hubby and I met at a local park, and we sat on a bench getting to know each other, I think it was around five hours later that we finally got up!

When your memories are triggered, I hope they are wonderful! Learn from the bad & hurtful ones, and don’t let it happen again! Be empowered to make change happen. Appreciate the ones you are reminded of all the time. Enjoy those that sneak up on you. Relive the moment and think, how can I create memories that are this special for someone else? Who could I share my life with that would be blessed if 40 years later they are “there again” via memory?

I appreciate the burning upside down chair. I’m thankful for those who sat in it for many years. (Considering the shape it was in, it must have been well-loved). I could ask what triggers your special memories, but I think I’ll be more specific . . . in honor of the burning chair. What special memories do you have that involve a chair?

Enjoying the Adventure!

Dr. Dink

Please visit my other blog: The Brown Bag Letter