Laundry Line Divine

“On this laundry line has hung a legacy of socks, matched and not. Miles of jeans. Barrels of t-shirts. The occasional sport shoe or billed cap. Often spread like sentinels on watch, carefully arrayed wool sweaters.

Flagships of pillowcases have danced in this wind and fluttering dishtowels have whipped briskly. Here the chancellor of laundry, the keeper at the gate, the basket of clothespins, without whom, this lineage of linens would have gusted away and been found wrapped around rose bushes miles away.

I always begin at the laundry line, for it was here, away from the messy chaos of family life where I caught the scent of my own thoughts and found a sense of the sacred in the mundane task of pinning my families wet clothing up in the sun to dry. Here, I could shake loose the snarls of my inner life as I pulled shirts tight between wooden pins so they’d dry smoothly.”

-Excerpt from the manuscript, Laundry Line Divine, by Suzi Banks Baum

Hello Sisters,

I’m deep in the process of writing my book, Laundry Line Divine.

It weaves tales, poems and truths from my life as a woman raising children while also yearning for creative expression.

It’s the story of my wrestle with time and the silence that had become my companion. It’s the story of how things changed when I began to take my place at the table of life, soaked in motherhood, but committed to giving voice to the sacred that dwelt in the ordinary.

I learned to express not in spite of being a mother, but because I was a mother. In the ordinary moments of making, hanging wash on the line, purling stitches, I tuned into vast unexplored parts of myself that were waiting, like a neglected garden, to be made beautiful with attention.

The story begins at the laundry line. A place that I came to hold as sacred. As divine.

Where does your story begin?

The Laundry Lines of Some of Our Sisters

Writing a book is solitary work, and I thrive in community. It would keep me so happy if you would send me your images of wash lines to add to this gallery. Each image will be a talisman for my writing journey, a little love note from you encouraging me to keep going. Mail to suzi@suzibanksbaum.com.

In gratitude, Suzi