Art as Damage Control

by Michelle Lasley

Michelle Lasley is a mother, wife in Pacific Northwest learning to balance green dreams with budget realities.

December 9, 2010

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Categories: The Green Life

Steps of St Paul's
Image by alexis22578 via Flickr

Olivia and Nate hosted Elliott’s birthday party at CHAP. Fabulous. I was reminded, near the end, that reusing takes many forms, and art is an important step. I was reminded to think of damage as opportunities for art.

I studied sustainability, right? Reduce, reuse, and recycle has been a mantra in varying forms since I was in fifth grade. So, why would I consider tossing out this beautiful silk scarf because it tears?

Why? Because I don’t understand the material. I wrap it around my neck, tossing it, sometimes haughtily when it falls off my shoulder. Sometimes I’m gentle admiring its delicate weaves. Sometimes I’m rough just getting it out of the way.

Somewhere along the way, this beautiful, gifted to me, silk scarf began to tear. It was in the last year. I’ve had it for eight. The wonders of silk: it’s both warm and cool. It’s soft. Easy to wash and dries quickly. And now the poor thing has snags.

The (likely) Director suggested I put beads on the snags. I can’t even picture how that would work! Art as damage control. Reduce, reuse, recycle. I can see the end product but not the process to get there. I can imagine the soft silk juxtaposed with some sparkely beads.

I fear that an attempting at inserting beads would snag it beyond repair, and therein lies my paralysis to art as damage control.

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