Contrasting Textures of Time

This beautiful weathered fence post has been in place at the edge of this field for many years. We know this by noticing the lines in the wood which have been enhanced and deepened slowly by the passage of time. Also by looking at the contrasting lichen and moss which have set up home on the bare wood. Time has allowed wonderful textures and contrasts to form on what was once a plain, newly cut post of wood, and these textures beg to be touched.

New objects often lack the textural appeal applied by the passage of time. When this rock first found itself resting on its place between field and sea, it would have looked quite plain, but now it wears some wonderful clothes. The contrasting textures between the smooth rock and it’s beautiful lichens have been built up over time. Cracks and blemishes in the rock face are often what allow lichens to find a foothold and begin to grow.

For me this wrinkly aged fence has far more appeal than a newer version free from the textures of time. It’s although hidden within its contrasting ridges and furrows there’s a story, of long windswept nights and endless sun filled summers. The textures hold a tale about the life of this fence, of this wood and of this place on earth. The longer the story, the deeper the textures and contrasts, and for me therein lies the appeal.

The smooth texture of the new can never compete with the exciting drama of contrast. The deeper the degree of textural difference, the greater the awareness of each element. I love the hairy lichen adorning this smooth rock like little woollen tufts. The contrasting textures pull at me, whispering to my fingers to touch and feel. Texture is a wonderful combination of sight and tactile touch, and time weaves the best contrasts.

In the same way I find a face which shows some signs of age and time far more beautiful and interesting than one which is smooth and as yet unlived in. There is so much character to be seen in lines, and in the way they shape the face as emotions pour through. A flat smooth skin gives nothing away, a polished mask which hides the tales of a life well lived. A skin which wrinkles into a beautiful smile around the eyes and mouth is so attractive, and yet there seems to be a collective dread of these signs of the passage of time. A desire to somehow pause, to cease being alive and so resist being drawn into the deepening textures of life. The textures of time tell beautiful stories if only we will lean in a little and listen. To be afraid of the wrinkles of time is to be afraid of life itself, and of the journey which changes us a little each and every day.

We can’t be who we were yesterday, so we might as well enjoy who we are today, and carry those lines and stories forward proudly. They make us much more interesting…..

See more posts about contrast at the WP weekly challenge.

About greenmackenzie

Hi, I'm Seonaid, and I share my home on the shores of Loch Ness deep in the Scottish Highlands with my husband, my son and a couple of dogs. I love art which is here now and gone food and nature...but also have a passion for vintage and the ancient past! Nature is my favourite muse, with her wild ever shifting seasons. I have been using and teaching mindfulness and relaxation for over 12 years, and have yet to become any sort of expert :-) I'm a Psychotherapist and Cancer Support Specialist in Maggies Highlands
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21 Responses to Contrasting Textures of Time

  1. I love your photos, they tell such a wonderful story.

  2. ladyfi says:

    Wonderful textures – I especially love that first photo.

  3. I agree with you entirely, Seonaid, both about the textures found in nature and about the texturing/sculpting of the human visage which comes with age (and wear). Perhaps I am in the minority … but I cannot understand why both men and women alike try so hard to maintain that freshness of form seen only in the very young. I too believe that there is pride to be had in that character that only time and experience can create. Joanna and I both wear that patina with pride. And, in any case, why should as humans be any different? D

  4. poppytump says:

    I’d like to think I got my furrows from as you so beautifully put it Seonaid ‘ long windswept nights and endless sun filled summers.” 😀
    The natural smooth weathering of oak is a particularly lovely texture to explore by touch … moss knots and grooves .. such lovely pictures .

  5. gwynnrogers says:

    Seonaid, I totally agree that lines etched through time add charm to natural features… including people. People too, have interesting stories to tell underneath their lines and white hair. Beautiful pictures… and excellent post. Thanks!

  6. Lucid Gypsy says:

    Beautiful Seonaid, we can’t halt the passage of time so we may as well enjoy the observation.

  7. Such interesting images, Seonaid. I love the second one with its “beautiful clothes’. Having read your lovely essay, I shall now think of the “wrinkles of time” as just fascinating textures. 🙂

  8. Wood is beautiful as it ages and the one thing I don’t understand is why we are in such a hurry to hide its beauty beneath a coat of paint.

  9. Uncle Tree says:

    The way trees share and spread their love on down through the Ages —
    becoming this, that, and the other; be it post, beam, or photo lover. 😉
    Wrinkles and knots tell the tale, which Seonaid shoots so very well!

    But don’t you think Uncle Tree wood rather be
    a hundred fine violins in the end? ♫ ♪ ♫

  10. suej says:

    Great post, Seonaid, I’m completely on your page regarding textures, life, and time! I love the textures in old things, but also in people. I can’t be the person I was yesterday, and why would I want to be? Well, OK, health! But I want a life lived, and that means plenty of grey hair and lines! I always say. I intend to grow old disgracefully……

    • Well I’m totally with you on growing old disgracefully….I’ve already started I think!
      And yes health wise we change, but all of that is a side effect of living….some just get lucky for longer 🙂 Grey hairs and lines are nothing to worry about!

  11. Rachael Charmley says:

    So true. Some great shots too 🙂

    • Thanks Rachael….I just could resist those textures….especially on the old wooden fence 🙂

      • Rachael Charmley says:

        Your piece reminds me of a more domesticated event. Many years ago we restored a very old timber house, peeling off all the layers until we got to the fifteenth century. A beautiful adventure!

      • That sounds amazing…..what a wonderful labour of love. I’m guessing fifteenth century beams and planks were not dead straight affairs, and I’m certain the house you uncovered was beautiful.

      • Rachael Charmley says:

        It was very hard work and I had a toddler at the time – but we had so much energy then. I loved the uncovering, and it firmly rooted me to the house for a long time. Leaving it left a deep fracture which I’m not sure will ever quite heal.

  12. Absolutely brilliant…I love the old wood and moss!!

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