I’m joining #FiveMinuteFriday over at Kate Motaung’s place. The word prompt is FIVE. Below is five minutes of free flow writing. The forward slashes indicate where the timer started and ended. Go!
//Five – the number of times I saw her hands bend and pull at the silken fabric she fed elegantly into her sewing machine. Grandma was a professional at mending our family, our broken hearts, our tattered clothes. Where once she worked in a Levi’s factory, sewing jeans we couldn’t afford, she was now sewing my dress for the junior prom.
Five – the number of God’s grace. Like from what brought grandma from factory work to owning her own sewing machines. Blue was the color of labor she wore on her fingers from the thread of the factory. Now, her fingers are wrinkled with the labor of family and her brown skin shines through. No more blue on her skin. No more blues in her heart.//
Grandma stated Levi’s was a good job. When the workers were laid off due to the plant closing, they protested and asked for appropriate compensation (what we know as a severance package). Most of the workers were women.
Levi’s shut its doors and moved its operation to Costa Rica. It was easier to pay a Costa Rican $1.08 an hour than it was to continue to pay a decent wage to an American.
Ask me if I own a single pair of Levi’s.
Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth. Proverbs 10:4
I am in a “Writing as Activism” class in my local hometown where we are given weekly 45-minute prompts to free write. So far, our topics have been: Connections, Labor, and Slavery. We have three more sessions to go.
During the Labor session, I wrote about my grandmother’s work sewing jeans in a Levi’s factory and my grandfather’s work picking cotton in the fields of South Texas.
Today’s prompt reminded me of the biblical meaning of the number five, which stands for God’s grace. The culmination of both led to the inspiration for the free write above.
Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. Proverbs 16:3
Here are some articles I found interesting this week:
- Former Levi Strauss Workers Protest Plant Closing
- Focus on the Family: The Many Roles of Grandparents