I do this from time to time…
I wanted to take a minute to document why I feel compelled to spend time recycling and refreshing cast off clothing items. It is somewhat a mission for me, as anyone who knows me is aware, and it was articulated for a moment in my mind, lined up nice and easy, so let’s see if can get it right here.
I really do believe that all matter has Spirit. From the moment an object or an event is first conceived of, it begins to become real.
Let’s use a sweater as an example. At first it is just an inkling, a whisper of manifestation, a mere vision of what could be, but if that vision is pursued, the idea builds up force around it like a shell, and the construction of the physical has begun!
First there has to be a pattern found, or made up. Then the wool must be had for the project. Perhaps it will be handspun, perhaps it will be purchased. After that there will be tests run, gauges checked, rows knit, and ripped back. Then the hours of knitting begin. And then finally, the careful poring over of the finishing details. If the original idea is followed through to the end result, the sweater, there has been an act of Creation.
Now, that sweater does not exist in an energetic vacuum. Rather, it is infused with the intention that drove the knitter to its creation. More than that, I would say. I would suggest that the energy that was held in the mind (and hands) of the knitter is as much a part of the garment as the wool that it is fabricated from.
This is indeed an Alchemy.
Having said that, I can specifically address:
Recycling as a form of Service.
Let’s say you go down to your local thrift store on bag day, on the day before they send a bunch of stuff to the rag pickers or the dump or wherever old clothes go when they haven’t sold. This is the end of the consumer line for most of these items.
You stand there among all these orphans, and you ask yourself, what is the history of these items? What are their stories? Each of them have one! Each of them went through the alchemical process described above. Except in the case of most of these shirts and pants and dresses, the Driving Force behind their creation was profit. And the materials that went into them were not lovingly called forth out of a handful of cotton seeds, but more likely sprayed with innumerable poisons, and picked perhaps by humans who did the work with resignation. And then, the fiber was sent…somewhere… to be milled and woven automatically. And in the flurry of this creative process, the next step was for the fabric to be shipped somewhere to be “assembled” by someone whose life was not touched by the individual spirit of the item. Who knows what energy the assemblers stitched into the thing? What thoughts they thought while making it? Then the piece of clothing goes off to the big box store where it is sold for cheap cheap cheap, as cheap as can be or no one will buy it, because how many shop out of Respect rather than out of Vanity?
Finally, it ends up on the rack of the thrift store, and it is full of all that, and more, if my imagined scenario is correct.
That’s what I am thinking when I stand there in that thrift store, or at that rummage sale on free day, or at the clothing bank holding a bag of discards in my hand.
This is where the Service aspect comes into it. I want to give those orphans a new lease on life! I want to work a little transformative magic on them! I want to bring a couple of them home with Respect and Love and say,
“hey you! I value you. I see a way that you can live on a little bit longer! How about a little embellishment and some fresh energy? Do you want to play?”
And so I do.
If we lift up the individuals, the Whole will rise to its feet. Maybe even more than that! Maybe it will fly!