Monday, December 13, 2010

Out to Dry

I recently watched the film Winter's Bone, about an impoverished family in the Ozarks. Laundry hang drying was a common back-drop in this dark film, and too often, it is portrayed in media images and popular culture that give it an association with poverty.

My view on hang drying laundry: it is an act of environmentalism, economic empowerment, exercise, meditation, and beauty.

Living in a garden apartment complex in New Jersey that does not allow residents to dry laundry outside, I hang dry year round on a drying rack in my apartment, clothes on hangers on my shower curtain rod, and towels on the racks. Even sheets and blankets air dry.

When I travel abroad, I adore the sight of laundry hanging out to dry. I think of our ignorance on the matter. What is so offensive about the sight of our neighbors trying to save money and energy? If a small act can help provide cleaner air and more money in wallets, I support it. I also ponder how detrimental it would be if everyone consumed resources at the rate Americans do.

Fondly recalling laundry out to dry, on the balconies of Barcelona.

In romantic Tangier.

In a Lisbon courtyard, with bicycles at the ready for a trip to the market.

I spied a laundry rainbow.

Floating over a quaint cafe in Rome.

Above the canals of Venice.

In colorful Burano.

Check out Project Laundry List's Top 10 Reasons to Line Dry.

4 comments:

Cate said...

I actually think line-drying laundry is quite beautiful! Which reminds me that I still desperately want to find a place in our backyard for a clothesline.

Aside from the line-drying/poverty association, how did you like Winter's Bone? It's on our Netflix queue and I'm eager to watch it.

Catherine @ The Vegan Good Life said...

Good luck with the drying!

I watched a library copy. Several hard scenes to watch with the abusive relatives and acquaintances the lead character encounters on the way, but it also a very strong commentary how enslaving drugs are to those who take or deal them. I have never touched an illegal drug in my life, and am grateful for it.

Angela said...

Catherine- I LOVE LOVE LOVE this post, the photos and the concept.

I have also noticed in other parts of the world how laundry hanging to dry seems to have not only a better aesthetic, but a more positive (or at least neutral) association.

Catherine said...

Thanks Angela! I think it's not unlike the idea of shopping at Goodwill or any thrift shop, some have a negative connotation in our "keeping up appearances" (or perhaps with the Joneses) society. So often we can reshape our thinking since it's often just about perception. I cherish my laundry photos just as much as any monument (sometime more, as it documents real life in real time).