Thursday, September 29, 2011


The other night the dishwasher was full and it made sense to do the remaining dishes by hand. I filled the sink with sudsy water and put my arms in, almost up to the elbows. I couldn't believe how good it felt to stick my hands in that water. I'd forgotten. I'll scrub a pot, rinse a wine glass, but rarely these days do I fill a sink. And there it was - the warm water, dishes thudding against metal, the scent of the dish soap.

These are ambitious times and today we're all the CEO's of our own little start-up. We take on each day with drive and intention. We know that things have shifted, that our minds will be the new industry, that the ability to connect and express ourselves have become a commodity. We don't understand it and still we're all scrambling to take part. We do it because we have to. We email, we blog, we post on facebook, we participate in groupspeak, groupthink, and we try to stand out in all of it. We do it for a living. We do it for leisure.

All this participating is exhausting, so we let the machines do the work. We load the dishwasher lickety split and let the warm water run over the dishes without us. We know we're missing something, we have the vague sense of the loss, but we can't get our arms around what it is. And we can't get our arms around what it is, because often enough, we're not even touching it.

Don't get me wrong, I don't want to get rid of the kitchen appliances. I'm happy to turn a dial and let the oven bake my chicken without having to stoke a fire around it. And I'll blog and tweet and sell things online. But there is something about how I had forgotten that sink of warm water and the way it felt really good, not good because it accomplished anything, but because it actually felt good. It makes me wonder - what else am I missing?

Run a sink full to the brim. Add dish soap. Stick your hands in.

You'll see what I mean.

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