Sign up to receive stories, culture, history, and Primal Derma updates:

Please enter a valid email address.
Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.

On convenience and efficiency

“The problem with convenience and efficiency is that, in the effort to make the shortest path between us and the things we want, the privilege of accountability is lost.
If you consider the time it takes an individual to gather raw materials, which are often living organisms, the honour and grief that is felt in their losses to our ecosystems, the lifetime courtship of the tools and material’s ways, the apprenticeship to the land which enables it all, then you have a life which is interwoven with its art.
You have a person who is beholden to their place in the world and you can trace a path across their wounds and wrinkles to their love of a thing, which they will protect, and which will feed you with its long history, beauty and richness. A person like this thinks twice about ‘developing’ an unblemished piece of land.” – Toko-pa Turner, Belonging (belongingbook.com)

I love this little piece from Toko-Pa’s book. It speaks so closely to the ethos that we are trying to serve here at and with Primal Derma. The tallow comes from an animal that has had a life on beautiful land and tended to by men and women beholden to the land they live on and all that lives upon that very land. The tallow is gathered with honor and grief. And we’re lucky to be able to have this prized material too.

And the handmadeness of each jar…some come out imperfectly sometimes. An askew label. Too much humidity when I make the product can sometimes give the product a slight grain. Harmless and still works great but still a sign that it isn’t an industrially produced uniform thing. It is still alive in its own way. A second life in the jar and a third life with you and your skin.

May it be so. And may it be that you also find the beauty making in some slow, inconvenient and inefficient items and times amidst everything else going just the other way.

Photograph of Lucy Telles, also known as Pa-ma-has (1885-1955) seated beside her largest basket, completed in 1933 after about four years of work, Yosemite.


Thanks for walking with us and trying to remember this kind of carriage.

 

Leave a Comment