Mindfulness practice – learning to be present in each moment– is something many people are embracing these days. Business are incorporating it and classes abound. Perhaps the most often-recommended “exercise” is washing dishes mindfully, although we know few people who really do it. Recently, we heard of one that did, truly. No surprise, it is Susan Dworski who, we are finding out, is a kind of radical activist of the everyday:
Several years ago I ripped out the dishwasher, built shelves and installed a deep, double sink. A cottage kitchen forces such Luddite decisions.The peace that descended after its removal was profound. Dishwashing became less a chore, more a meditation. Hot soapy water and plates air-drying silently on the tiled countertop are a balm after the roar of the rinse cycle and clattering silverware.
Inspired by British artist Andy Goldsworthy’s ephemeral, outdoor artworks, I decided to photograph my kitchen window every day for 365 days and create a composite photographic scroll of everything that I gathered from the fields––new and old, dying and being born––as the earth rolled around the sun for one complete year.
The project stalled, fizzling out as life intervened. But the pleasure of washing dishes quietly at the sink, surrounded by such fleeting perfection, remains a daily blessing.
It could happen any time, tornado,
earthquake, Armageddon. It could happen.
Or sunshine, love, salvation.
It could, you know. That’s why we wake
and look out––no guarantees
in this life.
But some bonuses, like morning,
like right now, like noon,