Down in the fibres

This week’s spring cleaning activity: carpet cleaning. Hire a machine that swooshes foamy stuff on your carpet and hoovers at the same time.

Having never done this before, I was a bit unsure about how it would go. Having done one and a bit rooms yesterday, and the same today, my arms are reminding me that they can do big tough jobs but the aching could mean they are just checking they are still attached.

Other than finding that the floors take longer to dry than advertised, generally happy. I can put my eco hat on too, for a bit, hopefully prolonging the length of life of the carpets.

I’m sure it would be more eco to do without carpets, but a) Northern Hemisphere, cold climate b) lack of underfloor heating and c) feels nice underfoot, and quieter than wooden floors.

Part of the point of the carpet cleaning, I’m sure, is the inverse satisfaction that comes with seeing just how grotty the water is once the machine has sucked the dirt out of the carpet and into the machine.

It’s not just ‘look how clean my carpets are’ but ‘look how much dirt there was there in the first place!’. It rewards the endeavour, even in a rather strange way – because we’d rather not admit to how much dirt there can be at home.

I am finding myself pondering some kind of metaphor to do with the dirt that we hide away, down in the fibres of the carpet. I don’t feel the need to be all Borrower about it, and consider the dirt from much closer up – I know it’s there.

Maybe there are all kinds of things that we just let build up: personal habits, eating patterns, ways of relating to others.

Every now and then, we may spring clean them, through one set of prompts or another, and see just what we are doing to ourselves – and perhaps others too.

Right now, I’m not opting to do too much more close up dirt inspection. It’s tiring, it can take specialist input to do the clean up (sometimes), and we all know carpets are for walking on. The dirt will inevitably come back.

But the notion of keeping areas of life more ‘rubble free’ – I like the sound of that. As long as there’s enough coffee and carbs to help me through the heavy lifting.

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