I don’t recognize if it’s apocryphal — that by the time they finish painting the Golden Gate Bridge they need to start painting all of it yet again. But that’s how it’s far with my jeans. I am never now not inside the technique of mending them.
“Oh, shoot, I must patch my jeans,” I say, inspecting them fresh from the wash, and my husband says, deadpan, “That’s sudden.” I actually have repaired them so generally that each one the patches are patched. They weigh one hundred thousand kilos. They are the only denims I put on, and I wait for them via the dryer the way a toddler waits for the only-eyed teddy endure you have subsequently insisted on washing but simplest after it got barfed on in the car.
I started mending them, innocently enough, simply due to the fact they had been top denims. They were at ease. They had the precise proper highness of waist: they kept my crack blanketed once I sat, however I become now not zipping them as much as my boobs like a teenager or your grandpa. Plus, they made my ass look incredible. Now, of course, they make my ass appear like a duvet your high-quality-aunt pieced collectively out of rags torn from Depression-technology prairie clothes. Also, thanks to my long commitment to this specific pair of pants, my ass itself has… I need to mention modified. But I assume what I have to say is long past away.
Ironically, I am not allowed to put on them to the hospice wherein I volunteer. I recognize this — it’s reassuring to the citizens and their households if we look professional and kempt, not like we skateboarded over from the weed dispensary. But the irony is that this: I am committed to matters, even in their tatters and decrepitude. To people. I don’t deliver absolutely everyone up willingly, although they’re a little worn on the knees. I will paint your nails even if you are likelier than the majority to die later this afternoon. Sometimes after I am bedside at the same time as someone is actively dying — we name this “sitting vigil” — I mend my denims. It’s the ideal quantity of activity: I’m now not just sitting there, pressuring someone with my gaze to provide a meaningful revel in for me. But also I’m no longer, like, watching TikToks of a porcupine ingesting a Hubbard squash. I’m simply there with my stitching. Also, it’s a very good time for my jeans to certainly get mended, due to the fact that I’m not wearing them.
You’ve probably heard of the Japanese exercise of kintsugi — the art of mending damaged pottery with gold. Even studying the Wikipedia entry approximately it makes me want to cry: “As a philosophy, it treats breakage and repair as part of the records of the object, instead of something to hide.” Amen. It’s related to some other Japanese philosophy, wabi-sabi, which highlights the beauty inherent in imperfection. And it’s related, in reality, to yet some other Japanese exercise, which I probably need to have commenced with here given its particular relevance, that is sashiko — the art of preemptively reinforcing indigo cloth with white thread. Visible mending. Visible mendedness.
What if we noticed gold seams threaded thru each different? What if our wounds and grief had been lovingly patched in denim and cotton florals? If you have got touched a lover’s scar in dedicated wonder, you know what I suggest. Let me frame the broken elements of you in treasured metals! Let me cherish you, damaged and pieced collectively as you are.
These jeans of mine — they’re very beautiful now. People arise on the road to tell me how cool they’re, which I love. Partly because I like to be cool. But on the whole due to the fact I crave connection, like everybody else. Or perhaps I simply want to be seen: Holy and entire, holes and all.