What ironing underwear can teach you about learning

If you’re a regular ready you’ll know that I’ve recently moved to Africa.  My learning curve is wonderfully curly and curious.

Take ironing underwear for instance.  I am fortunate enough to have house help.  My clothes are washed, dried and ironed for me.  Even my underwear.  Ironed.

Back home, my ‘ironing’ would consist of hanging said wrinkled piece of clothing on a hanger, putting it in the shower, batting some water on it, smoothing it down and leaving it be.  When I came back it would be relatively wrinkle free.

And that’s the perspective I brought here.  With my eyebrows reaching skyscraper heights in incredulity, who needs to have all their clothes ironed I thought, especially underwear ?  I thought it was a waste of time.  Not efficient.  Decidedly odd.

That was then.  This is now.

Turns out clothes are mostly hung outside to dry here.  Turns out flies like to hang about.  Turns out flies like to lay their eggs, especially on underwear.

Here’s the perspective altering fact; ironing kills the eggs.

Bring on the iron!

What perspective have you tried to transport from one situation to another with decided gaps and gaffs?


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4 Responses to “What ironing underwear can teach you about learning”

  1. sam crespi Says:
    October 6th, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    For me, age is a place…and I’ve come to realize now that I’m an older woman, that while the child was an energy that embodied good, she did not have the experience and wisdom to be a woman warrior. She did not know how to protect herself and over time was wounded.
    As an older woman, I was tempered by the knowing that there are treasures in the darkness, the wounds.
    The child didn’t know the extent of her potential or her power. (still working on that!)
    She didn’t yet know that how important it was to cherish herself and sought to please others even when it was not in her best interest. Surely that was how she could make them love her!

    The best of her still lives inside me. The pure joy, her playfulness, the fulness of her wonder and curiosity. And when I forget those those things, she tugs at my dress to remind me to play.

  2. Lee-Anne Ragan Says:
    October 7th, 2011 at 4:43 am

    So great to hear from you Sam- makes my day.

    LOVE the notion of tugging at our dress with a reminder to play- how evocative Sam. Your comment makes me think of proud flesh- which is what the wounds to horses are called when they heal over, stronger even than before. Here’s to our proud flesh!

  3. Lianne Says:
    October 16th, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    What a great story, Lee-Anne (in part I love knowing I’m not alone in the shower de-wrinkling method).

    I was just emailing Danielle – which made me think of you and then I wondered if your Africa move had happened. And there you are! And you sound happy. xox

  4. Lee-Anne Ragan Says:
    October 17th, 2011 at 4:14 am

    HI Liane- so great to hear from you. Love that we have ironing-via-batting-water-in-shower in common 🙂 My African move has indeed happened as you can tell from my new take on ironing. Am loving the adventures every day brings (some incredibly soothing to the soul and some put big fat question marks dancing round my head, but intriguing all).

    Am headed to NYC for Danielle’s gig tomorrow night. So excited! Then back to Vancouver as have a number of workshops to teach.

    What’s keeping you intrigued these days?

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