Lesley

a way of life


Hello again…from a different world than the one I wrote from and you read in two months ago in mid-January. I hope this finds you well-enough-and making do. The making do we’ve been called to in recent weeks is different than the making do we’ve focused on here. The sacrifices and resourcefulness have less to do with food and material goods and more to do with our ways of being and working and loving. But we are having to wield those same coping tools, none-the-less.

There is so much I could write! But I am actually here for a sort-of good-bye. When I still didn’t get back to sharing at our Instagram after my “beginning again” post in January…or creating our first printable for gentle activism…or get a Craftivist project going…I knew I needed more clarity on a path forward and decided to add some pondering of this during the month of March, which I was going to set aside as a retreat from work, a refreshing of my creative well, and the making of more peace and quiet and space to answer some questions I had. Well, my March (everyone’s March!) hasn’t turned out as expected…tho’ some answers have come amidst the upheaval and weirdness.

“Never to categorize, never to separate one thing from another-intellect, the senses, the imagination,…some total gathering together where the most realistic and the most mystical can be joined in a celebration of life itself.
Woman’s work is always toward wholeness.”

-May Sarton

This is one of my most favorite quotes…a compass sort of quote. And I know now, for once and for all, that I can’t be in so many places around the web, even for the best of reasons. I just don’t work that way, and I understand and honor this more deeply with every season that passes. I don’t feel any less passionate about Making Do to Mend the Earth, but I am understanding that-for me-it is a way of life, not a revolution. Or it could be that it is a wonderful, gentle revolution…but I am not cut out to be a leader of a revolution…just a woman wanting to share her journey towards wholeness. Such a journey naturally leads to a mending of so much, including our own patches of earth and all of the ways our lives touch the earth.

So…I will be continuing to share my journey, and all of its making do and mending ways…just in the few places I’ve long been and that feel manageable and home-like…my blogthe small-windows-into-my-world and most of all, my membership website/haven/women’s circle. They all have making do and cherishing the beauty of the earth at their hearts, so my hope is that they keep doing their part in the mending that is so necessary. One hopeful thing about this crisis is that people are slowing down enough to make connections they may not have made before…they are appreciating the truly important essentials of living…they are better understanding the webs of all that we buy and consume and dispose of and the ways it all helps or harms the planet. I’m hopeful sometimes, in between the harder, sadder feelings and realizations that come minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day. You too?

I dearly hope to meet you in some of those other places, and will continue to look for and use our hashtag #makedoandmendtheearth … and hope you will, too. Glimpses of our own making do ways, how we came to them and the satisfaction that comes with the discovering and doing is still one of the best ways to make a difference. And who knows? I may be back here one day with some resources* or ready to be revolutionary in some way in the future. I have been trying my hand at watercolor painting this month and won’t be stopping. Perhaps I’ll finally make that Make Do & Mend the Earth poster I hoped to ask some other artist to make when this began? I see the sign I made for that school strike last summer in my studio every day and continue to look for ways to live more lightly on the earth. And having accepted the first strangeness of our current way of life and looking towards weeks or months of settling in with it…I can see that the next while will be a good time to deepen with it all and to share it, home front to home front.

I’m grateful for your presence here and look forward to meeting in all our other places going forward.

xo

Lesley

*I was all set to make those printable cards I mentioned to share at stores, asking them to switch to email receipts and stop the paper ones, when I went to the one I store I frequent that has been doing that for a few years…and received a paper receipt! They felt they “had” to switch back because of some complaints about a possible link between their emails and spam. I didn’t look into it, but it brought home how complicated figuring out the switches is sometimes and put a damper on that particular move. But there may be different cards/printables I will make in the future, and they may end up here. We’ll see…

beginning again

After a very peaceful and somewhat Make Do & Mend the Earth Christmas (full of shopping locally and earth-consciously…not so much handmade, after all) I’ve been spending quiet moments in January finding a way forward here. My passion and belief in the worthiness of this movement hasn’t waned, but understanding the realities of my time and energies has waxed. So I’d like to begin again with the sharing of the clarity that has come to me, and we can go on from there…

~After attempting the film club last year, I can see that more than anything else this site needs to be a storehouse, a resource to turn to-whether you are new to making do or just need some support and inspiration. My other earth-thoughtful website needs much of my attention and energies and is where we read books and watch things and do projects together and it was too much of a strain to me to try to do that here, as well. So in the weeks to come I will do some rearranging here and create pages with books and films and other helpful things that you may use in your own time and at your own pace.

~Beyond the usual resources like books and films and websites, I will be creating printable resources (eye-catching cards to share with shops, friends and others) and shareable ones (graphics for Instagram and blogs, etc.) with messages to spread the word and make more visible what we are doing in our home fronts. For instance, I get so frustrated that printed receipts are still ubiquitous! Such a toxic and wasteful practice when there are other options now. I’m picturing a letter-size printable of six to eight cards to cut out with a request to change this system along with a few whys. Brief and heartfelt. Something we can carry in our wallets and hand out when we are in the checkout being handed yet another length of tree-killing paper that most likely goes straight into the recycling bin (to be recycled or not.) And likewise, a graphic housed here that you can drag off and use where you want to, say, proclaim that you have given up amazon.com. An ever-growing collection.

~Which leads me to another strand in the going-forward. I would so like not to be tending and creating all of this myself…both because it’s lonely and because we can do more together. If you feel deeply about this movement, too, and would like to offer your artistic abilities with designing resources or just chat about possibilities and ideas via email (or snail mail or chat or phone or…) please be in touch.

~And the last bit of clarity for today is that beyond the home front/making do during the world wars that is so much our light to follow, I’d like Craftivism to become another light. I received Sarah Corbett’s book two Christmases ago, but it’s taken time for the approach to sink in. Now, I am thoroughly behind it, yet still figuring out my path with it. I do know that the next post here will focus on a small project we can do together, for a first step. So please stay tuned.

I look forward to conversation here and will be taking up posting at our Instagram again, too. Pleased to see our hashtag being used here and there (#makedoandmendtheearth) which you can see, too, if you follow the hashtag itself, just as you can follow profiles. I’ve been pulling up my bootstraps (second-hand, of course : ) recently, being gifted a second-hand iPhone to more easily take and post good photos, making lists of helpful hashtags and visiting kindred folk, generally simplifying and planning for less distracting online sharing and am feeling more hopeful about it all flowing and making more of a difference. Refining. Not in the least giving up.

I’ll leave you with a quote I came across recently that might clear away the sometime fog and indecision of how to Make Do & Mend the Earth, from Sir David Attenborough…

“You can do more and more and more the longer you live, but the best motto to think about is not waste things,” Attenborough replied. “Don’t waste electricity, don’t waste paper, don’t waste food. Live the way you want to live but just don’t waste. Look after the natural world, and the animals in it, and the plants in it too. This is their planet as well as ours. Don’t waste them.”

P.S. The photos are of the berries and ivy and the crown I made of them for a blessingway ceremonial I was privileged to attend last Sunday. When I was asked to make the crown, I visited some blessingway links and saw the super-flowery crowns shown in most all of the photos. I knew the crown I made wouldn’t be flowery as it is winter and I don’t buy flowers from shops and I did wonder what mine would look like. As is so often is the way with making do, I found just enough beauty amongst our tangled wintery woods to make a lovely and simple crown for the lovely mother-to-be.