Visible Mending

“How the Japanese art of kintsugi can help you deal with stressful situations” (Tiffany Ayuda; “Many of us break a bowl or vase and think: garbage. But the Japanese art encourages us to the see potential for beauty in reconstructing the broken pieces. … Kintsugi is the Japanese art of putting broken pottery pieces back together with gold — built on the idea that in embracing flaws and imperfections, you can create an even stronger, more beautiful piece of art. Every break is unique and instead of repairing an item like new, the 400-year-old technique actually highlights the ‘scars’ as a part of the design.”

• “I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they’re right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.” — Marilyn Monroe (possibly misattributed?);

“The Goddess of Never Not Broken” (Julie JC Peters; “‘Ishvari’ in Sanskrit means ‘goddess’ or ‘female power,’ and the ‘Akhilanda’ means essentially ‘never not broken.’ In other words, The Always Broken Goddess. Sanskrit is a tricky and amazing language, and I love that the double negative here means that she is broken right down to her name. But this isn’t the kind of broken that indicates weakness and terror. It’s the kind of broken that tears apart all the stuff that gets us stuck in toxic routines, repeating the same relationships and habits over and over, rather than diving into the scary process of trying something new and unfathomable. Akhilanda derives her power from being broken: in flux, pulling herself apart, living in different, constant selves at the same time, from never becoming a whole that has limitations.”

“Our physical selves, our limitations can help us find meaning” (Ray Waddle, guest columnist, Nashville Tennessean; in Daytona Beach News-Journal). “Death and decay insult the human spirit. They also contradict the latest predictions that humans will eventually halt cellular aging and find a kind of immortality through a succession of organ transplants. Or at least some people will, those rich enough to afford a fresh pack of viscera now and again. Similar dreams of death defiance seem to animate the new endeavors of privatized space flight, the urge to escape the poisoned earth and head for the great interstellar beyond. Escape this planetary predicament. Escape ourselves. The universe apparently isn’t impressed. The laws of life and death, order and entropy, remain noticeably in place. Is God the creator of all this? If so, then God created mortal bodies too. Maybe to do God’s work on earth. Maybe to keep us seriously engaged, keep us in the game — this enterprise of living abundantly. The life of friendship, music, food, compassion, praise and prayer is more urgent when the clock is ticking.”

“Instead of hiding rips and tears, the visible mending movement turns them into art” (Meghan Racklin; “Born from the Japanese art of sashiko, visible mending enables crafters to eschew fast fashion and make mistakes beautiful. When Jessica Marquez’s boyfriend ripped his favorite jean jacket, he asked if she could fix it. Marquez, a “visible mending” maker, teacher, and author, began researching hand-embroidery techniques she could use to fix the rip. She came upon sashiko, a Japanese mending technique involving a running stitch and geometric patterns. As she practiced, she realized that she wanted to start using the same technique on her own clothes. A favorite pair of jeans now has four mends, each rip patched up with darker denim and beautiful square fields of bright white cross-stitching. … In this way, visible mending is the antidote to fast fashion. Instead of seeing clothes as disposable, visible mending values sustainability and suggests a different way of relating to our clothes.”