reclaim reimagine restoration waste writing

why make one?

“Why make one
when you can buy one?
Why bother with all this
wood-hammer business,
Wouldn’t it be easier
to go to the shop and buy one?!”

My host brother in Brazil, Dimas, and I made a shoe rack from pieces of discarded wood he found at a dump on his way home. While we sand-papered the wood by fast dimming evening light, pulled out and straightened nails, figured out an arrangement and put the thing together someone stopped by and asked why we were bothering at all. Wasn’t it simpler to just buy one?

Leaving aside the fact that buying one would cost money…it was fun and a (creative) challenge to make this shoe rack. It answered a need my hostbrother had, and it involved putting back into useful use something that had been discarded, and who knows what fate those pieces of wood would have had otherwise. Maybe they would have been burnt (a waste of useful carbon, an addition of carbon dioxide into atmosphere); they might have been left lying in a garbage dump (a waste of useful carbon, an ugly sight/reduced beauty of surroundings); or maybe someone else would have seen those pieces of wood and imagined a new life and usefulness into them, like my host brother did!

finished shoe rack phot by Dimas

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