Mending the earth

Some days seem more surreal than others.  It’s #Menditmay, and part of me is considering ripping out the zipper on that pair of jeans with the zipper that won’t stay up this evening.  Or perhaps re-stitching the lining of a lovely winter jacket that is a treasured gift.

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In my day job today, though, I am thinking about the appalling toll that sexual assault and other forms of violence take on people and what, if anything, the law can do about that.  This has been a project of some decades for me.  And tonight I will be packing for Newcastle to go and participate in Break Free, an international set of peaceful nonviolent protests directed at the major sources of the emissions that cause climate change. I will be one of the people attempting to close the world’s biggest coal port, however briefly, because Australian coal is fueling global warming both here and in the other parts of the world where it is burned.  For this world to survive in any recognisable form, that needs to stop, and stop quickly.

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This morning I read one man’s account of participating in a protest at a lignite mine in Germany in 2015.   While I was reading, I had Bob Marley’s song Three Little Birds playing, because I’ll be singing it as part of a global sing along with other local climate activists.  But I didn’t feel like ‘every little thing’s going to be all right’ today.  I’ve been a bit too focused on coral bleaching, abuse, and the wildfire in Alberta’s tar sands region that is devastating the region already laid waste by fossil fuel extraction.  First Nations have been resisting this damage, and the damage in the country where I live, for generations.  So, I was listening to Bob Marley’s reassuring song, reading about people’s efforts to bring a halt to fossil fuels and weeping.

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Mending garments and other belongings is appropriate and meaningful, and I am committed to sharing these necessary skills.  The first mending workshop was wonderful, and I am looking forward to the second, next week. But in addition, I am trying to work out how to participate in ending the massive damage being done to our beloved planet and every ecosystem and species that depends on it.  I am certainly also trying to work out how to limit my own personal contribution to that damage, including by mending and planting out my neighbourhood with native plants as a gesture of care. But that will never be enough, and here is a sensational 11 minute video that explains why.

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To quote Bill McKibben, ‘The time has come to take action commensurate with the scale of the problem.’  So this weekend I will be doing less stitching and more civil disobedience in the name of earth mending, with many others.  Because I think every mender knows that when something is coming apart at the seams, the first thing you do is stop the damage getting worse.  This is a crucial step if mending is to be possible at all.

If you wish you could be at one of the Break Free protests but you are not able to, you might consider being a digital witness.

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Filed under Activism, Sewing

6 responses to “Mending the earth

  1. Susan

    I saw that 11 min video and thought……whoa, so before I even watched it I had to ” fortify” myself and realized I was drinking beer from Scotland and chocolate from Belgium……….SHOOT ME NOW!!! Carbon footprint…ARG
    I commend you and BEG you to stay SAFE!!!


    • Dear Susan, WordPress won’t let me reply from the admin part of the blog… I plan to stay safe, thank you! No need to shoot you! This is a very complex global economy with lots to figure out… Let’s keep thinking! and acting. Mary


  2. I joined to be a digital witness and watched the 11 minute video. It’s true and its massive. Just look at Trump to see though how people can be manipulated, tricked and spun to follow the richest and most ugly thinkers and destroyers of this planet. Doing small personal things though DO help in a small way, if only to stop us going mad with worry and sadness. I applaud your action and stand with you in spirit.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good for you! I completely agree that small things make a difference, including by addressing fear and despair so that we can keep figuring out what to do next. Thanks so much. I feel like I am taking a crowd with me in my heart.


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