Wearing myself inside-out

I rarely look at myself in the mirror. It is more of a useful tool to check no detritus exist on my face. I stare at myself when I brush my teeth, and I notice that I brush my teeth faster than without a mirror. I hate looking at myself. I see a reflection of someone I recognize and I like him – I think. I don’t mean that I like or don’t like who I am, but I try and imagine how I look like to others, and how I look like to myself. Cannot quite explain it in any way I am confident won’t be misunderstood. In a sense, I think that my scruffy and shaggy, second hand torn and sewn clothes is appealing and unappealing at the same time.

Moving on. My wardrobe is varied, but consists mainly of hand-me-downs from my Dad and brother, some of the clothes I wear have been in the family nearly a decade. Others even more! And they date back to when my Dad was my age, fashion is circular, that much is known already. My Dad’s 40 year old leather pilot jacket looks brand new, and my brand new jacket looks worn and dilapidated after a year or two. He certainly takes care of things better than I ever could. But, then, my wardrobe is that of second-hand, used and so-last-season. With this wardrobe, I am a walking relic of fashion, and so I always look too old for the clothes I wear, a youth’s outfit, in an older shaggy-scruffy bloke. Perhaps, people think I spend too much time smoking weed and playing video games. Chill dude, otherwise.

But there is something of my inward. I don’t like ‘new’ shine of things. I don’t mean that I don’t like new things, and I especially don’t like new things that are made to look old. I want these scars on the furniture, clothes, books and shoes to be earned by my abuse of them. It is my inner self, not a purchased temporary projection. I am what I wear for years.

People like me then have a natural tendency towards old stuff, antiques and archaeology. The survival of these objects, through the trial of their life time when used by people like me who abuse their stuff, or things kept precious like my Dad does. That they may at times, survive the earth’s crushing force into the present. Saved, at the last moment, within a few decade or centuries close-shave at times, these objects are the cracked, dusty, old remnants of past human generations, and for us, they are also hand-me downs, worn, used, broken, repaired. Life can persist through these objects, and on occasion when people want to feel memory, nostalgia, history, a sense of self, then seeking the past is often one course, but more importantly, the past unchanged is satisfying. The past unchanged, remains the most grounding notion of ourselves in this society that exists. The past that you return to when introduced to it at school, then revisit as an inattentive adolescent, bewildered student, young parent, older parent and so on, their appreciation in our eyes is satisfying in a sense to see that some things in our time have stayed fairly similar. Renovating a museum is a tricky game. If you design a museum for a new audience and highly interactive environments and so on, it is a difficult challenge to keep up with at the same time. In as sense, archaeology remaining fairly old and dusty and still, is part of its charm, yes, the satellite and radar scans are hugely useful, the scientific methods indispensable to the purpose of our discipline, but to its character, to its aesthetic and mnemonic appeal it is temporary and in flux. Archaeology is always in flux, however, much more slowly than other things, like medicine or computer engineering.

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