Luckily we still have dry wood for the stove, library books to read, and jeans to mend.
I am not good at sewing, but I can patch a rip in a pair of jeans. It isn't false economy to keep Greg's old work jeans in repair. He's hard on his jeans, snagging them on this and that. And being six feet and five inches tall, and that mostly legs, he is such an odd size that Frenchy's does not have jeans for him. To replace the ones he wears every day would mean buying something new and not cheap. I'm being practical here, not romantic or sentimental.
My patching is inept and slow. I think of all the women of the past who have kept their household's clothing in good repair over years of wear and tear. I imagine they never sat down without a needle and thread in hand. I think of the fishermen mending their nets, of old farm wagons and machinery kept in service for decades. How, I wonder, did the act of mending become so out of date, the art become so lost?
The patched jeans have a certain something that new jeans lack, though I wouldn't go so far as to say exactly what that certain something might be. They are evidence that things both momentous and mundane are always falling apart and breaking. At some times -- in spring, for example -- the world goes about repairing itself, gracefully and on its own terms. With my uneven stitches I join the dance, however awkwardly.