One of my favorite things to collect, decorate with, and photograph is rusty stuff. My eyes are naturally drawn to items that have organically weathered from the elements as well as new pieces purposely finished to look old and crusty. If the dark brownish orange rust is set in contrast against bright brilliant colors - even better.
My mother always loved old stuff. As a child I didn't understand her love for it. I remember thinking when I grow up I will escape from all that is old and enjoy everything that is modern, shiny and new. But then as a young adult my first step inside an antique furniture store changed all that. It wasn't so much the look of the vintage armoire or the old chair itself but rather the idea of purchasing something that was still in perfectly good shape, taken care of by its previous owners. Why should it be tossed aside, left to deteriorate for something similar but new? It's the same as with pets, rescuing the unwanted seems to be the right thing to do.
When I see the side of an old building with exposed brick, rotting wood, and peeling paint, it seems to be squirming to tell you it's story of all that it has seen and the people who've passed by. It was brand new once, surrounded by others just like it. But now it stands apart, proud of its resilience. Did it have a past that was shady? Exciting? Ho hum? Only its rusty, crumbling appearance remains to ignite our imagination. It could not possibly have been more beautiful when it was new, than as it stands today.
It is really the same with us. The wrinkles and gray hair are just another stage in our well-lived lives, reminding us of all that has been. And definitely no less beautiful.