Saturday, May 19, 2007

The Old Washer Woman

When I need a shot of creativity, I'll grab a couple of books and head out to the park. Maybe I'll start thumbing through something like the visual history of Americana or ABCs of the Human Mind, looking for the spark of an idea. It can take a while sometimes, but usually, once I'm open to it, a kernal germinates. This time I looked up from my book of old toys to see bubbles coming from nowhere. I happened to be on a page with an antique doll pushcart with horses attached to the front wheel. This reminded me of that old putdown of being the son or daughter of a washer woman. But why should a washer woman be a bad thing? Couldn't she be fun, or misunderstood. Maybe there are legions of her, much like the chimney sweeps in Mary Poppins--mysterious, but magical. Troops ready to fulfill a duty, like a dydee service or the milkman. Or maybe she's more like Santa Claus, showing up on the doorsteps of dirty children to give them a bath and vacuum the curtains. I gave this lady a helmet, some safety pins, a towel or two then set her up in her souped up doll's carriage--replacing the horses from my book with piggies. All in all, not a bad afternoon. Is it a full story? Not today, but perhaps in time.