April 4, 2014

The Kitchen Sink

I wash a sink full of dishes at least once a day. We don't have a dish washing machine, just a double sink, a sponge and plenty of hot water.I enjoy my living space so much more when it feels clean and minimally cluttered so the pile of pans, bowls, spoons and glasses jumbled in the sink glares at me if my back is turned. And then there are the crumbs on the counter, the drips of sauce on the stove and the dust, dirt and bits of food and other debris that quickly collect on the floor. It feels never ending and probably is.

Dishes are the peels and stems of the fruits of my labor. They can't be eaten but they are an essential part of cooking from scratch. They don't make a beautiful image or a gorgeous blog post. But no matter the recipe, no matter the season, when you cook you make dishes. I like to think that we are all in this together: cooking and washing (or loading the dishwasher if you have one), sweeping up the flour on the floor. I don't intend to glorify the things that seem like menial tasks but, as I tell Ray, dishes are a fact of life. There are so many things we do that are perhaps not essential, perhaps often wished away, but it turns out that these tasks make up a lot of our days.

While there are plenty of times that I would rather not scrub the bathtub, vacuum the rug, do another load of laundry or deal with the pile in the sink, other times I appreciate it for the ritual that it can be. A way to connect with myself, my hands, my thoughts that float like bubbles out of soapy water. I appreciate that I can (for a few minutes) create order out of chaos and that these rituals of caring for the space I live in and wiping the slate clean are a constant when it seems like things are always changing.

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