Sunday, July 31, 2016
Got the look
I have never been one to concern myself greatly with my appearance. In the long strand of my life I have adopted a few different personal styles. Some have been dramatic, like my Italian skatepunk phase or my millionaire hobo chic phase. I like a little drama. But as to my appearance, like many things in my life, I have not been energetic or industrious, and I have been mostly happy to let things settle to a fallback quasi style that I'll call "pleasantly tousled". As long as I could keep my standard up to that minimal look of "pleasantly tousled" I could turn my mind and spirit to other pursuits.
But as to our appearance I believe we all have a secret, platonic ideal for ourselves. I believe somewhere inside of us we hold at any given time a vision of the ideal look we are aiming for. Some of us may work much harder than others at reaching our ideal, but deep down that ideal is in our consciousness. And because we live in such an image conscious culture, it is very easy to find an actual human model for our ideal, almost invariably someone famous. It is common to hold in our heads not just a barely expressible ideal vision of ourselves, but also some, mostly unacknowledged even to ourselves, famous person who encapsulates that ideal.
For instance, it only occurs to me now that until I was in my early forties, for me, that person was Charlie Chaplin. Like many things I write here this comes as a surprise to me. Until this moment I had no idea that Chaplin, through all those years, was my style ideal, even if It makes perfect sense to me now.
However, I was aware that as I inched towards middle age I found a new aspirational style. And unlike with Charlie Chaplin, I was more or less aware that I was going, long term, for the look expressed best by one famous person.
So it is with some satisfaction that I report to you that this morning at my library I was out in the front lobby, and a long time regular of the library, an only mildly crazy man, said to me in his distinctive accent "Ah! You look like Professor Einstein."
It is a great pleasure to stumble into accomplishment.