Re: Wear and Tare

In Barbados, as in many countries, one has to learn to appreciate depreciation. In some cases there may arise a beauty that is “art”.

In some cases apparent depreciation may in fact be an appreciation.

Building at BMHS

The side of this building on the grounds of the Barbados Museum and Historical Society reminded me of this fact when I was there in 2016. Much has changed in Barbados and the world since then and some of it may be termed a depreciation in our stock value in life.

Buildings and businesses would have gone unattended, forced to be ‘neglected’ due to lack of finance, mismanagement, external factors such as covid-19 protocols and regulations, or simply lack of interest or initiative. We all have priorities, and most of us seem destined to procrastinate when faced with maintenance matters.

In some cases of genuine wear and tear, I respectfully submit, there arises a beauty that is “art”. The most obvious is our human bodies. Ask any Photographer or Artist about their aged subjects, and they will most likely tell you of their awe at the amount of depth of character and beauty that inspired the photo or painting. Or indeed poem. For all Art has a poetic element, ne c’est pas?

Buildings are just as prone to this beauty derived from what accountants call the wear and tear. Even as an eroded shore throws up its own visual which can make us pause, catch our breath, and even inspire us. Look for the beauty in decay.

In us humans as we advance in years, the tare may be all we have left of our once full lives, dreams hopes ambitions, children, loved ones; but it is still effective if we branch out and adapt to and embrace new habits, hobbies, modes of life and earning. Our aesthetic too, has more meaning. We have weathered storms. We are solid. We are tough.

And though our tare is perhaps less valued due to physical depreciation, our appreciable strength, our visionary worth born of wisdom and experience, our mean worth, still lie within us. We are not ’empty vessels’ even if our aspirations have been fulfilled and the grand plans or desires have evaporated. We are just a bit worn, and a bit torn, and ever so much better for it. We have, in accounting terms, appreciated.

Now we are ‘art’.

Tare: weight of the wrapping/container/vessel without its load or contents.


  1. Thank you Rosaliene. I was thinking of the world and the ‘wear and tear’ that Covid has taken upon us mortals. Then I thought of the business, like the one that furloughed me that had to close and can’t seem to get back on its feet. Then I tried to take another perspective. We have all (?) matured and learned something. Human are something else. 🙂


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