clotheslines and consciousness
From: Arlene Hoffman (
Date: Wed, 25 Aug 1999 08:47:55 -0600 (MDT)
Dear cohousers,

Thank you all for your many and often humorous responses to my question
about clotheslines.

This may or may not apply to any of you readers or writers: I had a moment
of raised consciousness when I was hanging out my own clothes yesterday. I
realized that my laughter as I read those responses was not all as happy as
I thought it was. It was derisive of another point of view. I suddenly
realized that those anonymous people who were concerned about having
clothes, including underwear, hung out to dry in common space were not some
outsiders who wanted to squelch my freedom and force everyone to burn
fossil fuels to dry clothes. No, they were fellow cohousers. They might be
my neighbors and friends, people I care about and who care about me, people
who may or may not stand with me on many other important issues. I realized
that their discomfort with the clothesline should be listened to, and that
the best solutions come when everyone's concerns are truly heard and
respected. Sometimes such concerns can be let go once they have been
heard--I'm sure I have some irrational fears I could stand to let go of.
But that is not likely to happen when those concerns are laughed at by
others. And maybe there is a reason I haven't understood that really should
be taken into account. With this realization, I felt for a moment the
loosening of a certain tightness of my heart. May I grow that way.

Coheartedly (may I adopt that closing that one of you used?),
Arlene Hoffman
ahoffman [at]

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