Mending: To make (something broken or damaged) usable again: to repair (something broken or damaged). To heal or cure (a broken bone, a sad feeling, etc.) ~Merriam‑Webster
Two months ago while mending a small hole in the shoulder of a favorite linen knit cardigan, I thought “mending – good topic for a blog.”
The idea has been workin’ me every day; not the writing but the daily opportunity for mending.
Recently I promised I’d print 15 copies of a rubber stamp I’d carved over a year ago. When I opened my box of stamps, the one I wanted was broken. I mended it together but the crack showed when inked and stamped. I made a new stamp but I liked the cracked image better. I tore pages out of an old gardening book and printed the stamp with the crack; fitting for the topic eco-spirituality. Everyone commented they loved their picture on a page that seemed perfect for them.
A few weeks ago when I picked my grandson up after school he breathlessly told me he needed to complete a computer game on his dad’s old I-Phone. He played while eating a snack, while I tugged his soccer socks over his shin guards and in the car on the way to his practice. Climbing out of the car he pleaded, “Please leave the phone on my desk so I can finish before we come to your house for supper.”
As I walked from the car to his house I dropped the phone on the sidewalk. The glass back shattered.
Close to tears, I left it on the dining room table with a note saying how sorry I was, and that it still worked and could be fixed with duct tape.
Later when Zeb and his family arrived for dinner he climbed onto the stool in my kitchen. I put my arms around him and apologized for breaking his phone.
He was surprised and began to cry. Then his mommy told him that she saw it on the table and mended it with duct tape and that it was “good as new.” After fussing a bit he hugged me and said he was happy it still worked – and “Gran, I don’t like what we’re having for supper.” Kiss it and make it better and cook something just for him. All mended.
It’s not always that easy. Years ago a wonder-full friend who listened carefully as I read out loud each of the papers written for my doctorate, died suddenly. During an intensive week-long class I held my grief close. At the final gathering I mentioned how sad I was and burst into tears. A lovely colleague gathered me into his arms and held me while I sobbed my sorrow. He died suddenly a month ago.
This week we cannot escape the news full of deep sorrow and celebrations of mending – stitches only we can keep from unraveling.
This morning I sat outside with Mark Nepo’s book The Endless Practice, meditating on the words of all deeply spiritual advisers, “Stay Awake.”
In the middle of his book Nepo quotes the medieval Sufi master Muhammad b. Fadl Balkhi (854-932); “He spoke directly about what puts us to sleep: ‘One may lose faith in four ways: not acting on what one knows, acting on what one does not know not seeking to learn what one does not know, and keeping others from learning.’ Nepo continues, “Often, in clinging too hard to what is familiar, we lose our wakefulness. …consider your relationship with what you know and what you don’t know. Consider the condition of your ultimate concern.” (pg. 191)