Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Do the dishes

One morning I rode my breath

into the presence of God

and (not wanting to waste the opportunity)

I asked, what should I do?

Some time later

the answer rose up warm through my soles

on the cold wooden floor:

Go do the dishes

So I did and then, and later,

I noticed it was always the right thing

to wash the dishes

as an expression of love and gratitude

a sensual pleasure

a social solution

the end of a string to lead me out of an impasse

After a lifetime of resisting and resenting

dishes as punishment and oppression,

this humble task became my calling

and my relief

my meditation

my prayer

my blessing

Thich Nhat Hanh says:

Washing the dishes

is like bathing a baby Buddha

Rabbi Abraham Hayyim said:

My most important job is to make sure

that no trace of food remains on the dishes

And Rabbi Shmelke confirmed:

Now you know everything you need to know

Rabbi Kushner says

Allowing oneself to be nothing means that

when we are done with our sophisticated-sounding sentences,

the dishes must be washed.

Beyond nothing-to-think is life-to-be-lived

To clean the dishes with kavanah, mindfully,

is to wash away ego


Here I am,

feet on the floor, hands in the sink.

Here I am,

Pulling my attention back and back and back to this act.

Here I am,

restoring beauty and order,

washing away what hides the divine spark.

Tikkun olan

© January 2006


E said...

Before enlightenment
Lighting the fire
Washing the dishes
After enlightenment
Lighting the fire
Washing the dishes

Lovely Meliors...

Anonymous said...

Very beautiful Meliors

- Ernst

Jane in Dunedin said...

A wonderful reminder about what is sacred and beautiful in our everyday acts! Loved this so much, Meliors, I have sent it around to all the women in my life - with your name and copyright and blog address too of course!!!

Jane in Dunedin said...

Just reporting back - I have probably shown your poem to about 20 people, mostly women but also my Dad. Everyone loved it - especially mothers for some reason..... :-) My usually cynical hard nosed friend in the UK said it made her smile, but I forget she is now a Priestess of Avalon so has her spiritual side too...