I am dissecting one of my favourite shirts.
I would have mended it…but it tore in several places. The fabric has become too thin from frequent washing and wearing…so I decided to sacrifice the shirt, pull it apart and use it to make a pattern for a new shirt.
I’m grateful to this unknown person, in China, whose impressive and underpaid skill created this favourite object of mine.
In the process of gently undoing every stitch that made the shirt I’m getting to know the hands that made it.
I’m finding small decisions about hidden stitches, uncovering the order that the shirt was constructed in…wondering why, why were these things done in this way?
Some of the decisions are obvious, some are not.
In the end the effect is that of a shirt, all the bits sit where they should, and I look at it and think – shirt.
I’m enjoying getting to know this shirt that I have loved, piece by piece.
It reminds me of the process of getting to know myself.
Examining the different ways I am constructed, learning about why something about me is put together the way it is.
These processes are similar, but not the same.
Getting to know myself is a much more confronting process than getting to know the anatomy of a shirt.
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