Scruff. I love scruffy people and things. Tousled hair, faded clothes, rust on a car, scuffed shoes. To some, this makes people and things look unkept and dirty. To me, this makes things come alive. Every scar, every tear, every stain has a story to tell, a story about lived experience: enduring tough times maybe, or living it up and having a good time. Survival, resilience and the strength to keep laughing. So much focus on living life that there is little time for anything beyond basic grooming and maintenance. Maybe it’s because I’m a plumber’s child and one of my favourite places to be as a child was in my dad’s car, with the buckets of tools in the back, the smell of sawdust, my dad driving with the stubble on his face and a gleam in his eye from enjoying both the physical labour and the brain power needed to conceptualise his work. Maybe that’s why I find so much peace among hunters of the north. No one really seems to care what they look like – it’s the warm and resilient spirits that matter.
(I originally left this as a comment on another blog in response to a post on people’s favourite things. It’s the first time that I managed to clearly articulate why I’m so attracted to scruffiness in me, in others and in things so I transferred it here for safe-keeping. Now to stop procrastinating and get back to work!!)