The US Navy field glasses sit on display in their well-worn case, near old photos and antique books on my shelf. Out of commission now after years of service but what battles they observed in their time! And what they’ve seen that you and I never will —never wanted to. They traveled to Japan during World War II—their worn leather straps revealing what true active duty they have served. Their well earned weathering edges speak volumes if we’ll hear it.
Today our actors and actresses while merely in their forties are compelled to keep their appearances youthful by injections and treatments, some I have secretly wished to try. Pharmaceutical company ad campaigns target younger men and women—not just the obviously aging as before. There’s a societal craving to retain the appearance of youthful, “unspoiled” innocence. Its appealing to all, no denying. • • •
A friend who died all too young told me once that she’d never ever alter her looks or erase her smile lines. She’d loved and lived too well as she’d earned them to intentionally part with them. She was in her forties then and, pure soul that she was, truly cherished her beautiful laugh lines as evidence that she’d loved deeply, been hurt tremendously, and still lived oh so joyously as she earned them.
The worn leather straps on my Dad’s old field glasses—they’ve seen some things and been in both exotic places and terrifying situations. To mend them by re-dying the edges back to black and by forcing them to return to their smoothed out state would be to erase all evidence of the warfare and victory they witnessed, all the usefulness they provided; the true purpose they were created for.
The wearing away on the edges, the fading and crumpling that quite naturally occur as the casing protects what’s within. A remarkably well-worn case tells that story. A fresh one has yet to begin.