Today I took my vintage Singer sewing machine (c. 1955) to a shop for repair.
I could tell by the sparkle in the man’s eyes as he opened the case that I’d come to the right person. We chatted, agreeing that back in the 50s, things were built to last. We could have gone on about burgeoning materialism, but it was more pleasant to spend the time appreciating the little machine. There’s hardly a scratch on the finish. He plugged it in and listened to it.
Harlan is going to take the machine apart and oil all the places that can't be reached from the outer oil slots. He advised that even though the belt looked crackly, it would likely last longer than the replacement belts that are produced today.
I borrowed this machine some 30 years ago to make dance costumes. Always so focused on finishing my projects, I neglected maintenance. So the machine has been drying out for decades. It felt really good to hand it over to someone who appreciates it.
(Are you starting to see where I’m going?)
To what degree does the increasingly disposable world we live in affect the way the culture regards the body? It seems to me that modern medicine, for all its beneficent marvels, encourages the belief that body parts can be replaced and dried out gears, medicated.
In the admittedly privileged arena in which I live and work, people are sincerely devoted to body awareness and self-care. If you’re reading this, I assume that’s true of you. You know that like my little sewing machine, your body will dry out and refuse to do it's job unless you keep your fascial tissues “oiled” through resilient and non repetitive movements of your body. I wrote several posts about fascia-targeted exercise a few years ago. You can read them here and here. (And lots more about this in my forthcoming book!)
Unlike my Singer, whose neglected state can be amended by a kindly mechanic, only you can refurbish your neglected body.