Yesterday morning as I was sipping my coffee I was simultaneously working this old pair of torn and tattered jeans and a snagged and worn doily into an embroidery hoop. I wasn't really thinking about anything and then all at once I was thinking about everything.
This particular pair of jeans had been given to me by a friend who said they are really ripped but I KNOW you can make something out of them. Of course I thought. Truth be told that has happened more than once in recent weeks. People giving me broken or mismatched pieces of jewelry or ripped clothing. I guess my friends know me all too well. People often give me things with the hope and belief that I can do something with them and I certainly try because I have always been a glass-half-full kind of girl.
Sometimes...MOST times actually....the most beautiful things, or parts of ourselves, are instinctively the very things that we toss aside or hide away from the world in a dark drawer or up on a shelf somewhere. They are the sort of things that we really should just TRY to fix, or ask for help to fix, or maybe they don't even really NEED fixing at all so much as we just think that they do. When I am at my desk creating, these are the sort of materials that I LOVE to work with the most (so thank you sweet friends who know me so well.) I often find myself reaching into my stash for the pieces that may not have had a life beyond their broken points long before I will reach for something new. I have quite a collection of things with a jagged, tattered, torn, broken, worn and completely beautiful story to tell.
A mismatched broken clip on earring in the free box at a yard sale? I'm all over it.
A broken necklace with perfect little beads? Hey I can recycle that into something.
The stick that was nibbled on and then cast aside at the beaver pond is for sure coming home from our hike with me.
If I have learned anything through my art and in my life it is this: 1. Sometimes you have to rip the broken open even more....collect all of the pieces....dig deep and stitch....bring it into the light....and strengthen....and snip....and support....and weave....and glue....but when you are finished you will likely find a beauty like no other. 2. Most things are never too broken to be fixed over a good cup of coffee. 3. It is important to surround yourself with good people and friends who try to see the potential offerings in everything long before they will call it a loss. 4. Last, but certainly not least, true beauty is always found right there in the imperfect and broken parts....so by all means please share them with the world.