Underbelly: 10 Things - Mending


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Wendy Kelly
Wendy Kelly
#136 in a series of wild and precious observations on what mending looks like

This week I contemplated mending. I actually bought a book called “Joyful Mending: Visible Repairs for the Perfectly Imperfect Things We Love”.
While my youngest was at cello, I sat with my feet in the creek below the bridge on their property and contemplated mending.
How mending is such an important part of life, of a well maintained household, of a well run family.
How someone has to do it. How that requires time, prioritized, dedicated time.
Yes, I mean literal mending clothes and also mending people, families, lives.
And yes, I noticed this week that while sitting still mending a dishrag I gained insight into all this.
“For all mending projects, the initial consideration is to retain the same "feel” of the garment and make it wearable again. In the process, some bold or involved mending techniques may be incorporated. We might cover moth holes by needle felting a variety of roving colors to create polka dots.
“Or we might stitch decorative beads on top of stained areas for a new look. Or holes in a dress with floral embroidery may get spots of yellow needle felting that end up looking like a sprouting of flowers. And there’s nothing to fear about new holes since more yellow felting-wool flowers can grow in their place. What a lovely thought — a little garden of mending.
Although discovering holes and stains in your clothing is usually a bit of a blow, once you’re equipped with mending know-how, those flaws turn into a source of joy. I think that joy isn’t simply a passive experience of pleasure, but an active participation in the creation of pleasure. Sharing that kind of joy makes me very happy.” —Noriko Misumi, Joyful Mending
3. Prompt
So. How much time to you set aside for mending?
This would be an active process, so a bit different from sabbathing or resting.
It’s perhaps what is sometimes called “The Work”
I think from now on, I might refer to this as “The Mending” — because that is what it is.
In my case, over the last year, I have been in counseling to help process some rage that sprang up. Over the year, I have finally, with lots of work, come to a place of compassion for the offenders. My counselor was necessary in this case, mainly because I knew that I needed someone to gently but quite firmly remind me to do the mending work.
Incorporating mending into your life, I think, takes practice. Diligent practice.
4. Quest
Notice your mending practices. Notice what you do that restores you to your perfectly imperfect self.
Acknowledge what you are doing. Do more of that?
5. Level up
Notice others’ mending practices — what I noticed this week included at least three friends who quietly adore cold water bathing. This feels like mending to me. I noticed a friend who enjoys long, unplugged walks. This feels like mending to me.
I’ll be honest, my “mending” this past year did not have such an aesthetic. Perhaps one day I will write about it, but for now, suffice to say that mending does not always have to be neat and tidy all the time.
6. Video — 2016
Mending broken trust: Police and the communities they serve | Charles Ramsey | TEDxPhiladelphia
Mending broken trust: Police and the communities they serve | Charles Ramsey | TEDxPhiladelphia
7. Article
Mending Life
8. Poem
9. Hero
10. Connect
Don’t miss out on the other issues by Wendy Kelly
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Wendy Kelly
Wendy Kelly @wendykkelly

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Nelson, British Columbia