Let’s think about clothes, about laundry.
A new garment, sometimes it’s suddenly there, just right. Sometimes it’s wished for, sought, planned, anticipated. And it’s also just right.
It’s carefully wrapped up.
It gets taken home.
We take it out. Hold it up. Admire it. Hold it. Put it next to us. Put it on. Show it off.
We look after it. Take care of it.
It gets dirty we wash it. In warm water. It gets a bath.
It gets dried. Sometimes, yes, out on a clothesline, in the warm sunlight. Gambolling in a gentle breeze.
It gets held close. Snuggled. Taken down. Taken back inside.
Maybe pressed. Goes into a warm, snug, dry drawer or closet.
Gets looked after.
Sometimes – through no fault of its own – a shirt, say, or a blouse, say – gets blown off the clothes line. Goes missing. Gets lost. Isn’t found.
Or is overlooked. Not seen.
Not seen but it’s there. Huddled on the ground. Next to a wall maybe. Or in a corner. It’s gets wet. Cold wet because it gets rained on. It gets dirty. It gets stiff with cold. Sometimes, if it’s cold enough, it even freezes. Cold ground, low cold wind – cold air sinks, warm air rises – huddled there on the ground it almost seems to be shivering. Or shuddering. Or shivering and shuddering.
People see a “discarded” or “blown-off-the-clothes-line-‘got-lost’-disappeared-‘went-missing’-dirty-wet-‘seen-better-days’-‘had-it’-‘beat-up’-smelly-haggard-‘old’-or-old-shirt-or-blouse” they pay it little or no regard. Maybe even feel an aversion to it.
People and clothes – there are similarities. There’s an affinity there.
It’s maybe not too far-fetched to say each of, in some ways, is a shirt. (Stuffed or otherwise.) Or a blouse.
I wrote this at mid-day on December 6, 2017. Just hours before the cold front heading our way from the ice box of the arctic is due to touch down. Down. Cold air sinks. Outside, down on the ground – that’s where it’s coldest.
I wrote it because of Dorothee and Cordelia. And their community at St. Martin-in-the-Fields.
Because their community is our community.
To find out about the St Martin-in-the-Fields appeal visitwww.smitfc.org/donate/
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