A recent article by Katrina Rodabaugh in the most recent issue of Taproot has been wending its way into my bones. It was a wonderful piece in which she discusses her journey into sustainable fashion in which she “abstain[ed] from any new clothing for an entire year.” If you’re curious about how your clothing choices affect the world and vice versa, her article is a great place to start (and also begin to learn the art of mending clothing, as well). As a mama to a large family, I’ve been mending hole-y knees and cuffs and all sorts of things on my boys’ clothes for years now, but I’ve never really thought about the process in my head or my heart.
It’s her closing section that wound deep in the sinews:
In researching the definition of the word “mend”, I loved the long, poetic, inspirational list of synonyms: re-form, correct, repair, cure, heal, doctor, fix, patch, recondition, renovate, revamp, and rebuild. I love how the list conjures images of building houses, casting broken bones and going to the voting booths all at once. I see hammers, scaffolding, herbs, salves, notebooks, declarations, pencils, erasers, threads, needles, and even a trip to a nearby gym.
But mostly I like to think of mendfulness as the intersection of mending and being mindful. That there is an intention in our repairs and that we are attempting to pay attention, to witness, to be thoughtful, and then to act from this place in our mending. That, through mendfulness, we can patch, darn or stitch, but we can also strengthen, heal, and rebuild.
-Katrina Rodabaugh, “Mendfulness”, Taproot; MEND::Issue 11.
What a powerful thought this is. I have long appreciated Makoto Fujimura’s idea of culture care- of being stewards and keepers of beauty- and this idea of mendfulness joins beautifully with it, does it not? Especially as a mama and a parent. So often we find ourselves stuck in reactive mode- this idea of mendfulness is helping me to shift my perspective to a more peaceful place when faced with broken-ness without and within. The falling autumn leaves remind me that even the seeming broken is beautiful in its own way, each a gift.
I just love your heart. There is nothing wrong with new, but there is something lovely about fixing, repairing, refashioning, mending, and re-using. There is a sense of gratitude about his process, gratitude and appreciation for what we have. I have a pair of boots I’ve been wearing for 23 years or so. I have had them re-soled three times and now the shaft requires repairs that I don’t think are really do-able, but I love them too much to rid myself of them. But I’m thinking it might be time to create memories in a new pair of boots. But I’m not sure.
I love this. So deep and yet so applicable. The photos are just gorgeous too!