By Regina Connell.
Part of what we stand for is the appreciation of the imperfect, the undone, the used. These are states of being and evolution in objects (and people for that matter) that connect you to life, that keep you grounded, open, humble.
But what of that in-between state where things aren’t quite so bright, shiny and new, but haven’t yet achieved that wabi sabi state of beautiful disrepair: a category into which most of the things, people, and relationships in our lives will fall? We grudgingly look to maintain them, the act a necessary evil in our lives.
As a society, we tend to take the same approach. In the West, while we pay lip service to all that lovely wabi-sabiness, we actually worship at the altar of Progress. The New is what matters. Innovation is king. And consuming all that innovation is your patriotic duty.
I recently came across an article in Aeon magazine that’s got me thinking about all this. Entitled Hail the Maintainers, authors Lee Vinsel & Andrew Russell write about the need to value The Maintainers. “Entire societies have come to talk about innovation as if it were an inherently desirable value, like love, fraternity, courage, beauty, dignity, or responsibility. Innovation-speak worships at the altar of change, but it rarely asks who benefits, to what end?”
Whatever you call them—the maintainers, the repairers, the tailors, the cobblers, the conservators, the mechanics, the cleaners, all those keepers of things in working order—well, it just doesn’t have the same ring as “the creators,” or even, god forbid that dreadful phrase, “knowledge workers”. Those who can’t create maintain. Maintenance is a necessary evil. And on and on. Do I smell a whiff of class-ism? And here I thought we Americans were supposed to be beyond class.
Read more here, at AltLuxe.