Friday, October 17, 2014

Something about ceremonies and intentions and homemaking and the weekend

Chances are that you have an ordinary household task which you always dread.  It could be laundry, it could be dusting, it could be picking up and putting away all the things.  It is something tedious, and has to be done frequently enough to be irritating.

I wash dishes in a similar manner but with purple gloves.

The task takes on emotional weight because we think of it as a means to an end - clean clothes, or shiny windows - and the process of getting to those deliverables feels like an obstacle.  We want what we want and we want it now, ding-dang it.

I'm going to suggest you do something stupid and irrational and counter intuitive about it:

Ignore how much bother the task feels to you, and instead turn it into a BFD.  Go all out - use the good dishtowels that you only put out for show, or choose a special floor-mopping soundtrack that you only ever get to listen to when you mop your floor.  This task goes to 11.

Approach this task as if it has meaning and significance.

Because it can.

The act of cleaning a dish is the same whether you are washing up at the end of dinner or "washing up" at the end of a tea ceremony.  Sure, your skillet is probably messier than the cup the tea host cleans, but the intentionality of the act is transmutable and it has the power to give you peace, if only by the fact of it having been accomplished.

As with learning and perfecting the performance of the tea ceremony, it takes a while to learn and perfect the ceremonies of the home.  That's partly because as homemakers we must create the ceremonies as we go.  But the biggest part is giving ourselves time for the ceremony to sink in.

Even with time, the ceremony itself may still be tedious.  But intention has the power to transform the tedious into the meaningful and significant, and you deserve to spend your days doing things that have meaning and significance. Even at home, even on the weekends.

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