Indigenize!

Rekindle Your Wild Joy and sense of deep Belonging through spiritual ecopsychology and the arts, incl. bioregional awareness, animistic perspectives, strategies for simple living, & low/no-tech DIY fun.

Machine Moment September 17, 2015

2face_sewingmachine_behindthevoiceactors.comWe who enjoy material prosperity in the modern day Industrial Growth Society are expected to chuck out imperfect possessions that we don’t use anymore and go buy new ones.

However, I like to repair and repurpose things, so I’ve been doing some mending.

Some of the clothes on the pile are nearly worn out. But that’s because they’re favorites and therefore too beloved to just let go softly into that dark night of the rubbish bin or consigned to a second life as cleaning rags without a fight. Others, I want to alter in some interesting way; to usher their good raw material into a new and more currently useable form.

Even though I’m much more skilled at sewing the archaic way, with a simple needle and thread, I got our old sewing machine out for the first time in many years to make the work go faster.

“Faster,” she said. Ha! As soon as I attempted to begin, the thread snarled up in incredible thick tangles over and over behind the bobbin. This being on the bottom side of the piece, I didn’t notice it until quite a few inches were already sewn and I was congratulating myself on the excellent choice to employ some metallic plug-in help. Then the snarl caught on the foot hardware and everything stopped cold. I turned the work over, and omg. In certain places, what was intended to be a neat row of small stitches was a mass two inches thick and a half-inch deep! What a mess.

I tried a few more times, with no luck. As a last desperate resort, I finally broke down and got out the owner’s manual to try and understand what was happening. Not surprisingly, this helped. Improper settings for the kind of material, thread, stitching style, etc., had indeed caused part of the problem.

But really, getting deeper to the core of the issue, machines have never liked me.

You’d think they would cut me some slack due to my family: my dad, a mechanic, served their kind his entire life. He worked on aircraft, cars, motorcycles, and small stroke engines like chainsaws and outboard motors. He even single-handedly rebuilt three-and-a-half P-51 warbird airplanes from the WWII era, one from a husk found abandoned out in the desert. And my mom cared for this exact same sewing machine for decades. Where’s the gratitude?

But machines don’t seem to think that way. It’s all about their needs and their individual relationships with us soft-bodied creatures, and something about me is apparently just too much water to their oil.

Thinking about it, maybe it’s because I’ve not given this one a name, nor painted Celtic knotwork all over it, or suchlike. I seem to get along better with the machines that I anthropomorphically spoil, or at least art up. Or perhaps it balked because I don’t use it enough, and it feels under-appreciated; without a strong purpose. Hm.

You reading this: how do YOU personally develop a mutually happy relationship with the machines in your life? Inquiring, frustrated minds want to know.

For myself, I think I am better off sticking mainly to simpler tools like the hand needle, thimble and thread. Even with it occasionally drawing blood and me taking a lot longer to complete tasks, there’s less wariness between us. We know what to expect from one another. We can get along.

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Early Spring Cleaning February 17, 2011

I think my instincts are turning toward, or pulling me back towards, Beauty.

I just made a very simple supper snack – pear with cheese, but it was clear that the BLUE plate would be so much more striking against the creamy colors than the yellow one with lemons printed on it – so I yielded to the impulse, and oh how true that is.  I found myself laying the pears out in a fan pattern around the perimeter, with the three cheese slices forming an echo along the bottom. Then it seemed to need something… pecans! In the middle!

Is it food or art?

Who cares?

When I eat it, I will become it. Its beauty will nourish me inside as it does now through my eyes. My whole life could become this delicious feast of moments.

I am so drawn to this idea.

I’ve been taking inventory.

Paring down.

Over the past two days, it looked like a tornado hit in here as I hauled the couch to the other side of the room and deconstructed my bookshelves.

Like they do in Bali, I took every one down off their shelves, and dusted the shelves. Then I chose each book deliberately to either go back to be used and loved by me for some specific purpose or just because I value it or want to read it; or to be given away to either a certain friend or to the bookstore, thrift shop, or laundromat to find their new lovers.  I honor them for the knowledge and insights they contain. And some, although I’m sooo drawn to them, I know I will not be reading soon – so out they go too. This appreciative yet unattached gratitude feels good.

And the funny thing is, even though I’ve collected over ten bags full to give away, every shelf is still completely packed. How did that happen? Where were all those books before?

I also had the wild hair idea to shelve them according to color, and damn the subjects… this is the yellow shelf.  But stopped myself, thinking someone might actually ask me for a book, which would be embarrassing when I couldn’t find it for the life of me  (unlike before, where I could unerringly point to every blasted one, however buried.)

Finally, I sharpened all my knives.

It’s like I’m preparing all my tools – but for what?

For the future journeys/adventure ahead, of course.

Leaf buds will open soon.