Peace found in a pan

Today has been a struggle.

For whatever reason, I have felt mentally fragmented all day.  I’ve been unable to concentrate on anything without significant effort; and even then I’ve felt only mildly successful.  I’ve found myself reading the same lines of text two, three, four times, trying to get the meaning to slip beyond my eyes and actually permeate my brain – and haven’t had much luck.  Engaging in conversation with friends, with strangers, with my sweetie, I just haven’t been all “there” for them today; I can feel my distraction in the midst of their sentences (and in the midst of mine) – and that sucks.  More than once today I have physically shaken my head, trying to get my brain to focus; I have squinted my eyes, trying to glean more comprehension amid the fuzz in my mind.

Nothing seems to be working.

After a day of trying to think, late this afternoon I said, “Oh, forget it”, and went to the kitchen to make a recipe.  I’ll let the piece of paper tell me what to do.

After I popped the casserole into the oven, I hand-washed the pots and bowls I used.  As I stood at the sink, focused only on the sponge, water, and suds, I finally felt a sense of gathering in my mind.  My feet felt grounded on the kitchen floor; my arms worked with my eyes to lift and move dishes; my hands enjoyed the various tactile sensations.  My mind settled to focus exclusively on the dishes.  Nothing more.  Just lift, scrub, rinse, set down.  Then repeat.

I suspect if I hand-washed dishes every day, the “thrill” of this chore would wane quickly.  But today, this task brought me a lot of comfort, and – dare I say – even joy.


About Stef

A "serious" gal who is trying to remember to lighten up and smile.
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12 Responses to Peace found in a pan

  1. Touch2Touch says:

    Very Zen: your washing-up meditation. Amazingly, almost anything — given total attention to the one thing – can be meditative.
    And grounding, and relaxing.
    Important day, important teaching.


  2. carlaat says:

    We don’t have a dishwasher, so I wash everything by hand, and yes, I know exactly what you’re talking about!


  3. Dodie says:

    Cleaning the house ( well, not all of it) can have a calming effect. Maybe not when having trouble focusing, but when I’m uptight, older, or nervous about something.
    Not thinking, just doing, and processing while my hands are busy.


    • Stef says:

      Absolutely; I’m trying to learn the secret of “not thinking, just doing”. When it happens, it’s truly wonderful. Thanks for commenting Dodie! I hope you are feeling better with each passing day – but aren’t doing too much “doing” right now! 🙂


      • Dodie says:

        Just reading your reply – “older”???in my comment- gosh I don’t think that’s what I was thinking- good heavens if that were the case, I’d have the cleanest house around – think I meant ‘upset’. Darn auto correct!


      • Stef says:

        Dodie, I was curious as to what you meant by “older” – I thought perhaps it was just your pain meds kicking in. 🙂 Yeah, auto correct can be a little annoying from time to time…


  4. grandpa says:

    You have found as I have that sometimes activity, any activity, can sometimes save us from ourselves and if it is productive as you mention that makes it all the better. Good example for others to follow!


  5. Jonathan says:

    A beautiful piece of writing. Not that it’s my business to say, but you write very well.


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