A few weeks ago we found some flannel fabric on a clearance sale for $1/yard. We bought 471 bolts with our sacred donated DfG funds. What a thrill to find good flannel at that price! The shipments have been coming in last week and this. Last Friday 28 very large boxes were delivered to my front door. After the UPS man left, I hefted all of them out of sight so John wouldn’t freak out when he saw them stacked and barricading us in the house.
I’ve been washing that flannel, bolt after bolt. Two at a time. Solid colored ones and printed ones. My washing machine and dryer are churning and drying almost around the clock. The trash can in the laundry room fills with dryer lint. The surfaces in the laundry are dusted with lint. There are dust bunnies on the floor and in the corners.
Today I picked up the threads on the carpet down the stairs to the kitchen and noticed lint balls on the kitchen floor and a fine dusting of lint on the counter tops. I noticed lint just about everywhere upstairs and downstairs in our home. Wow. It’s in the air, and it goes everywhere.
As I noticed lint everywhere in my house, it made me wonder about what parts of me are floating around out there. First I thought of picking a fallen hair off my sweater and dropping it to the ground. Then I thought of clipping fingernails and not sweeping every piece up. I thought of my physical body lint like the rough summer skin I filed off my heels last night before I went to bed. Parts and pieces of me are shed, like lint.
Then I thought about other ways we leave ourselves behind. My first thought was Words. I teach, I speak, I write. I leave Words out in the world. I thought about my influence. Is it for good, or is it like lint–something to be swept away? This afternoon between teaching my Family History classes I had a phone call from a lovely women named Janette in Glendora, California. “Is this Ann Lewis?” I told her, yes, I am Ann. She said, “Are you the lady who does Days for Girls?” I told her “Yes! I’m that Ann.” She said she has been hearing about me and reading about me. She knew people there who read this blog. She has a sister in Alpine I met last week at an event. My words somehow reached her, like lint flying out into the world. We visited for an hour or so, and could have talked much longer.
Before returning to my evening class, I put another load into the dryer and emptied the lint form the lint catcher, thinking about what I am leaving behind, what words I am speaking and writing and putting out into the world. I hope they are positive and good. I hope they motivate others to be good and do good things. Lint and words are small things, but they travel far. Something to consider as I am writing my fingers to the bone.