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  • Writer's picturemisha

On Mending -- The Name

#imagedescription: Variegated rainbow knit with a closeup of a spot of darning also in variegated rainbow yarn. End.

This Summer I was asked to speak at the Northeast Unschooling Conference and I was coming up so short on what I wanted to talk about that would be helpful to new and experienced unschooling parents alike, but wasn't another "unschooling 101" talk.

"On Mending and Fear" was born.

In the eleventh hour, I finally decided to talk about myself, my journey through a rocky childhood, an even rockier adolescence, and the hard work of mending myself as an adult. I talked about fears, abuse, trauma, addiction, triumphs, love, the actual art of mending, and trust -- trusting ourselves in order to trust our children.

It was casual, but intimate. It was deeply personal, yet widely relatable. I cried and I laughed. It was like one of my favourite podcasts, The On Being Project.

If you're unfamiliar with On Being, this snippet from its website sums up things beautifully:

It began with a controversial idea for a public radio conversation, Speaking of Faith, that would treat the religious and spiritual aspects of life as seriously as we treat politics and economics. On Being, as it has evolved, takes up the great questions of meaning in 21st-century lives and at the intersection of spiritual inquiry, science, social healing, and the arts. What does it mean to be human, how do we want to live, and who will we be to each other?

Mending, like most handiwork, can be a welcomed catharsis. Slower, quiet moments that lend themselves to contemplation and introspection, finding delight in honouring our clothing and the hands that made it, the journey a sweater has made, the stories a favourite jacket holds, and the love our own hands imbue the fibres with when we mend.

Mending by hand is mindfulness in action, a radical act of self-love and self-care, as well as a way to share a passion, skill set, art, and our compassion for others with others. Mending is an act of rebellion against fast fashion, textile waste, instant gratification, and the trend towards disposability. I have found immense joy in extending the life of clothes, quilts, and other worn-out favourites of my own and others. A rip or stain that for many means a thing is lost, but for those who mend, it means an opportunity for imagination, creation, and love.

On Mending is a way for me to share some of that joy and love with others, with you! I envision sharing how-to tips, mending workshops, my favourite tools and supplies, the best tea to sip while stitching, and all of the wonderful projects people commission. I also hope to encourage you to slow down, use less, make things last, and upcycle whenever possible.

And who knows, maybe there will be a podcast... On Mending.

- Michele, mender

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