My dress is made out of a linen, viscose mix.
Through a static lens, it is a self-contained object, reducible to the various cuts of fabric, the yarn, and coconut buttons. These dress parts are reducible to inert material atoms. The value of the dress is the financial cost of its replacement. Extracted from temporal and relational contexts, the dress is considered unchanging.
In this way, my dress is reduced to a mechanistic view. It is static.
The static, mechanistic perspective of the dress is partially true. But it leaves out the important part of context.
The dress is also a temporal expression that began with the growth of flax, cotton, and coconut seeds into plants. These seeds were nurtured by water, soil, mycelium, and the sun in a specific atmosphere on a spinning planet. The dress, including its yarn and buttons, exists in relation to those who crafted it, the sewing machines and scissors used, and the people whose lives are impacted by their experiences making, selling, and wearing the dress.
The dress represents a pattern of stability within patterns of activity.
Statics and dynamics.
The atoms that comprise the dress are themselves societies of subatomic relational events vibrating with each other. The dress is changing, from lying flat wrapped in paper in the storage to being worn and washed, a process of decay. It is a dress-in-process comprised of events that participate in a world-in-process. One day, the dress will be someone new, a shirt maybe, or a wash clothes, or disposed and burned with others deemed past their use by humans.
The dress exists within, emerges from, and is a participant in the world. The story of dress is intimately connected to the story of life, the story of the universe, and the stories of people.
A static lens perspective reduces the dress to the sum of its parts. It treats my dress like any other dress. A process perspective broadens the lens through which the dress is understood.
My dress is a process. Can I treat my dress with the same care as my dog? Can I offer her a long and cared-for life?
For the transition to the Ecocene, each object, each someone, that we come in relation with is a process intimately entangled with the story of life, the story of the universe, and the stories of people. What would happen if we acknowledged and appreciated each for their process? Would we keep over-consuming? Would we keep extracting? Would we keep exploiting?
Have a great Monday,