Monday, December 04, 2006

the spiritual benefits of washing up

Our dishwasher is broken. We wonder now whether we should have left the old one in Darlington, and had a closer look at the fitted (but very unfit) dishwasher we've inherited in Yeovil.

Someone observed today that they quite liked washing up, as it gave them time to think. Loading a dishwasher doesn't give you that. Thinking back to my mum, who spent the best part of a day doing 'washing day' (loading the twin tub, putting things on the line, ironing etc.) and often the best part of another day baking and cooking, one of the things we've lost in labour saving gadgets is time to reflect, because doing things used to take time, and that was ok. Now everything has to be done as quickly as possible. We have watches, but we don't have time, as an African sage once put it.

Made me wonder when I reflect, if at all. With a commute which consists of 10 steps with a mug of coffee from the kitchen to the study, there's not much reflection time there. But do I see myself volunteering to wash up? I doubt it.............. being busy is easier than being thoughtful.

Maybe that's the wisdom of attending the daily offices (strange churchy phrase for daily
prayers at set times), since it's impossible to spend all that time saying the same words without getting bored rigid, perhaps it's time secretly used by clergy to daydream and reflect, and let their souls catch up with their bodies.

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