I set aside yesterday for taking care of some items that needed TLC. I put leather balm on all of my shoes and boots, fixed a hem on a dress, handwashed two wool sweaters, and did my sock mending.
You’ll see all of the years of different mends in the different colors 🙂
It had me musing about how as a society, we don’t take care. It seems silly to complain about how no one polishes their shoes anymore when I see what happens with abandoned children and animals. How people approach their work (including the work they do in the home and for themselves). You might say these things have always been a problem, but do they not seem worse these days to you? Taking care has been replaced with the fast, the effortless, the easy. Am I the only person who feels complete astonishment on seeing that there is a television show called Semi-Homemade Cooking that uses things like refrigerated cookie dough to have a “semi-homemade bake sale.” (!!!) Can we have a world full of beauty, depth, and integrity this way? I don’t think so.
I then realized that yes, I can rail against people not polishing their shoes anymore. Putting effort into things such as mending your socks instead of throwing them away for new ones is not only an attempt at saving resources, but a metaphor for a way of life. One that includes lavishing your time and attention on what you’ve chosen to bring into your world. It’s another way of thinking about responsibility. I’ve been mulling over this issue lots lately, as I continue to explore the effortful, the difficult, and the slow. I’m so disheartened that these are not positive attributes in our culture.
They next time someone backward-complements a hand knit or loaf of homemade bread with, “Didn’t that take forEVER?” I am going to say, “Yes, it did. And I enjoyed every minute of it.”