This post was originally published on the Library’s main blog.
You know what’s weird? Washing clothes. It’s like some kind of strange sorcery I can’t quite get a grip on. This isn’t to say I don’t do laundry. I do. Often. Doing it right now, as a matter of fact. Which is why I’m so fascinated by the whole experience. I mean, can you explain to me how putting dirty clothes in a machine, adding some soap and then pushing a button, which causes the internal chamber of this machine to fill with water and then just … move around for 20 minutes, cleans clothes? I mean, if I cover myself in soap, and get caught in the rain and then just jump up and down for a few minutes, will I come out cleaner? I don’t think so. So, how does the washing machine work? How? How?
The answer is, who knows? But I’ve been thinking about it anyway and wondering if life works that way, maybe not when it comes to cleaning our skin, but maybe when it comes to refreshing our minds and our hearts. Renewing our perspectives. What if we have been in some kind of strange washing machine for the last 15 months, filled with water, bumping us back and forth, rocking us, spinning us, jerking us around? And maybe the soap, the cleaning agent, has been, somehow, our teachers, our parents, our friends. Maybe we’ve been cleaning agents for other people, someone’s Tide Pod, which is also interesting to think about because the cleaning agent is in the storm of the machine just like the clothes. It has to be in it in order to help. It has to be able to understand the weight of the water and the unpredictability of the process. And after all the wishy-washy, and that violent spin at the end (which happens to be my favorite part … a Ferris wheel of FURY!), what if we’re made better? Fresher. What if there are things we’ve been able to finally release from our fibers. Stains we’ve finally been able to let go of?
I don’t know. It’s just something I’ve been thinking about as I put another load in. Something I’ll be thinking about all summer, as the world slowly reopens. Will life fit differently on us. Will we wear it with more pride, more confidence, more gratitude?
Something I’ve been thinking about. Or … I mean … maybe I just want to go swimming. Could also be that.
Have a good summer, everyone, and I’ll check in with you in fall!