This summer at a farewell picknic in the park with R’s Kindergarten the kids ran wild while the grown-ups hovered by the food in various clusters. Men with hands in pockets talked about old punk bands. Women with folded arms whispered about schools and doctors. The quiet ones just sat next to each other in the dark under a tree. A soccer game started, chairs for goal-posts. Fathers peeled off layers, sweating and shouting as they tried to pass the ball to 4 year-olds who were running in the wrong direction. As usual, I couldn’t really make the commitment to join any one of these groups and spent the afternoon milling around between them. Finally I took off my shoes and did cartwheels on the grass, where I found another ice cream stick for the collection. Best thing that happened all day.
Lately, I’ve been started picking things up on my runs. I used to feel a jolt of recognition at seeing some sidewalk specimen and then run heartlessly over it. But one day the pull was too great and I turned back to retrieve a rusty paper clip. Now, as well as aerobic exercize and meditational zone, running has the added dimension of scavenger hunt. Finally I know what those silly little spandex pockets are for. But I sense a new collection starting: Things I Collect and find later in the Washing Machine in an Altered State. (Not to be confused with the already existant Kleenexes Washed in Pockets).
Which brings me to lint. After hanging the laundry on a rack and folding it into crispy rectangles all summer long, I will soon make the seasonal switch. It’s fine to air-dry when it only takes half a day (as part of the good German I’ve become, I now actually prefer the crispy rectangles over fluffy bundles, just as I do duvets to tucked-in sheets and room-temperature to freezing cold drinks), but when it takes a week for the towels to dry, I stop caring about the environment and start using the dryer. Which is where the lint comes in. My need to collect lint (as with all the other collections) crept up on me until it could no longer be ignored. I would empty out the catch and think: this is too special to throw away. But then I would throw it away. Until I stoped throwing it away and started putting it in a jar. Which is almost full. Personality Disorder? Wierd hobby? Lack of other creative outlets? Not sure yet.

This summer at a farewell picknic with R’s Kindergarten the kids ran wild while the grown-ups hovered by the food in various clusters. Men with hands in pockets talked about old punk bands. Women with folded arms whispered about schools and doctors. The quiet ones just sat next to each other in the dark under a tree. A soccer game started, chairs for goal-posts. Fathers peeled off layers, sweating and shouting as they tried to pass the ball to 4 year-olds who were running in the wrong direction. As usual, I couldn’t really make the commitment to join any one of these groups and spent the afternoon milling around between them. Finally I took off my shoes and did cartwheels on the grass, where I found another popsicle stick for the collection. Best thing that happened all day.

Lately, I’ve been picking things up on my runs. I used to feel a jolt of recognition at seeing some sidewalk specimen. And then just run heartlessly over it. But one day the pull was too great and I turned back to retrieve a rusty paper clip. Now, as well as exercize and meditation, running has the added dimension of scavenger hunt. Finally I know what those silly little spandex pockets are for. (I sense a new collection starting: Things I find in the Washing Machine in an Altered State, not to be confused with the existing collection, Kleenexes Washed in Pockets.)

Which brings me to lint. After hanging the laundry on a rack and folding it into crispy rectangles all summer long, I will soon make the seasonal switch. It’s fine to air-dry when it only takes half a day (as part of the good German I’ve become, I now actually prefer the crispy rectangles to fluffy bundles, duvets to tucked-in sheets and room-temperature to freezing cold drinks), but when it takes a week for the towels to dry, I stop caring about the environment and start using the dryer. My need to collect lint – as with all the other stuff – crept up on me until it could no longer be ignored. I would empty out the catch and think: this is too special to throw away. But then I would throw it away. Until I stoped throwing it away and started putting it in a jar. Which is almost full. Pathological behavior? Wierd hobby? Creative outlet?

jar_o_lint