My penchant for doing the laundry is a standing joke amongst my closest friends. Much as I have tried explaining that dirty linen does have to be washed-in public or otherwise, they all insist that it’s a hobby more than a necessity. After much ridicule, laughter and diagnosis of OCD, they have finally accepted it as one of my eccentricities. And left me in peace to go forth and wash, hang and dry…only the laundry so far! After they read this though, they may rush to have me certified…… (Jeez, she’s WRITING about it now!)
And AM I ACTUALLY so fixated with laundry? Well yes, I do like to see clean laundry. Fresh and soft. And the empty basket is so satisfying to behold! And really, one does HAVE to wash soiled clothes. Part of life.
Did I say Life? Yes. I did. Doing the laundry is so much similar. We put in our grimy, sweat stained clothes for a wash. Our day has been spent in those….that speck of mud from a puddle, the sweat on the collar, the cuff which is brown, the drop of sweet chutney with the samosas- they represent our experiences- satisfying, exhausting, exhilarating, tiring. And then go the clothes for a wash. They churn and swirl and the rough and tumble of life get removed from them. The experiences get washed out. Eliminated. Removed. A new beginning is made. Pretty much as we do in life. We go through our moods…..and then emerge from them. Embark afresh, start over. Right down to the very next day. We shed the day gone by and open our hearts to a new one. We wear fresh clothes, start anew.
Occasionally we need to add a little softener to the wash….pamper ourselves! Get a pedicure, check into our favourite hotel, sleep, curl up with a book, lounge in front of the television. Do nothing, Say nothing, Binge on chocolate. Go to a Spa. And then we are rejuvenated. Glowing to face the world. A little softer, more open. Receptive.
On other days, we need an extra effort to get rid of those smudges- stain remover to remove the deep seeded marks of fatigue and negativity. Maybe a lack of will. We make a choice then-to get rid of the clothes themselves or to make the effort and get rid of the stain and emerge afresh. To let go or to go on.
Some spots don’t go away, no matter what. They remain as witness to an experience. As reminders. As recollections. Of a football game on a rainy day, juicy mangoes in summer. A child’s drawing. A holiday with a loved one. A party at home. When happy, they remain as memories to cherish in our hearts, when sad they dwell in our minds as lessons learnt. Either way “daag achhe hain”(An advertisement for Surf-a detergent brand).
Thus the cycle of life continues…hand-washed delicate days, the humdrum normal cycle, tough stain scrubbing on bad days. All hung out to dry (not discarded….to start afresh and move on.) To grow. Fade a little. Bring in new clothes and thoughts. Evolve. Change. Revitalise.