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2018年2月18日 (日)

Do things have souls?

次回この記事の日本語版を投稿します。

Do things have souls?  Is it possible that, by using a certain thing over a long period of time, a part of us is somehow transferred to that "thing"?
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I have mentioned that I like to think of hand tools as temporary body parts as they are extensions of the body used to perform a task, turn a screw, hold a nut, cut a thread, etc. The User is the force and control behind the tool, thus the tool is simply an extension of the body.
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Think about it.  Things that we regularly wear, hold, use, ride?  Things that gradually become a part of us over time. This is even more true if the thing in question is made of real materials such as leather (baseball glove, shoes, saddle), wood (baseball bat, furniture, violin), silver (jewelry, silverware, writing utensils), etc. People have their trusty something or other, some tool or utensil which has served the User well over time and become a part of him or her.
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Just as we have funerals to honor our beloved, so too should we not have a way of saying goodbye to things that have served us well over time and for whatever reason have broken and can no longer be re-purposed? After all, weren't these a part of us during use? 
Japan has such memorial services, take the memorial service for broken pins & needles known as Hari-kuyo.  A memorial service for pins & needles? It may sound trivial, especially in today's disposable society; however, back when clothes were made by hand, and people actually mended clothes, pins and needles were precious items.  These pins and needles served their owners well repeatedly piercing various fabrics. As a tribute to their faithful service, these broken pins and needles are placed to rest in soft tofu and given a send off at shrines and temples.
I like the idea of not wasting things and paying respect to things that serve one well.  In the US when I was growing up you did not throw away things, you re-purposed them.  And even when something could no longer be re-purposed as a whole, you disassembled it and saved the screws, nuts and re-purposed them.  I guess that is why I like restoring vintage bicycles, how can someone throw away something that is still serviceable? With a little elbow grease things can often be given a second life.
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