Thursday, May 21, 2009


I was thinking today, as I was mending a favourite pair of worn workout capris.
Thinking about mending.
Does anyone mend any more?

I could have easily thrown the capris out. I didn't.
I've mended them before. But today I mended them again because I really like them.
I thought some more.
This question is far deeper than it seems on first thought.
Mending is more than sewing.
Mending is for more than things.

Of course its easier to look at flaws and toss.
Socks have holes?
Throw them out and buy more.
Your vacuum cleaner doesn't work any more?
Put it on the curb on trash day and get another one.
Shoes worn out?
buh bye. . in the garbage.
Zipper broken?
useless, it goes in the bag.

There are two things going on here. .

1. Things aren't made to last any more. They're made to throw away.
Much more profit to be had making disposable items than in creating quality goods.
Cars don't last. Houses go up in no time and fall apart. Appliances give up the ghost. I have a perfectly functional 1950 Westinghouse oven. . yes my stove is 59 years old and all we do the odd time is replace a fuse. It amazes me. Be even more amazing, Kelly Ripa and Electrolux, i dare you. If I went out and bought a brand new oven tomorrow, I'd be lucky to get 5 - 10 years out of it and those years would not be without servicing.

2. We have no patience to fix. We're so ready to give up. Throw away. We didn't make the thing, we have nothing invested in it, we did not create, we did not design, we simply consume and discard.

This propensity of ours for using and tossing has crept into all parts of our brains.
We hit a snag. . we want to pack it in.
We have a rough patch, forget about it. . cut losses and move on.
why bother?

This alarms me.

Old fashioned isn't always bad.
Sock holes used to be sewn back together.
Zippers were replaced.
Vacuum cleaners were serviced.
Shoes were re-soled.

I think people thought that they might not be able to get another,
so they took great care with the one they had.
Preserving, conserving, protecting, maintaining.
Even when fixing was not possible and there seemed to be no use,
they got creative and found another use.
They valued.
They were more patient.

We live in a disposable world.
You name it, it can be disposed of.
No mending necessary.
can be discarded
thrown away.

How can we stop?
How can we change?
I want to believe we can.


Gina: said...

I mended a pair of pants yesterday.

I had gone to the store... found a $15 pair of black pants... and then put them back. I decided to mend my old pair instead.

They had a huge rip... I have no clue how to sew. Somehow, the hole closed up. Now I can bring the pants with me to Europe: $15 saved.

I've had them since high school.

I hate how disposable things are... I see it with mechanics: batteries only last a year. Computers are obsolete 4 months after they are purchased. If you want to keep something, you've gotta pay big bucks. It's why people like me have jobs (though the bucks aren't so big in the nonprofit world.)

I wish things weren't so disposable... especially relationships. We replace friends. We replace spouses. We replace our children with worthless things.

We forget that God created us to last until He calls us hope... and His words are in place so our relationships will last too... so we will trust Him (instead of replacing our savior with worthless idols.)

It is why it takes a lifetime + to mend a broken heart.

kathryn said...

wise girl, Gi! and how cool that you also mended pants yesterday!!!

emma said...

If it helps... I'm only 21, and I mend. I just put new insoles in my shoes, and new velcro on one of them. I patched my jeans. i must confess tho, I don't sew my socks...!

Very true post though. McWorld. Microwave world. Gina hit on some very true words about disposable relationships too... it's one thing that deeply concerns me. I grew up in the disposable generation. I never have to wait for anything if I don't want to (product/food/etc-wise). But relationships... wow. How to nurture relationships that go the distance; that's the question!