Monday, January 3, 2011

finish the job!

I cleaned out the dishwasher (man's greatest invention since the wheel) this morning. Plates, glasses, flatwear and kitchen utensils were returned, clean as a whistle, to their respective homes.

And when the dishwasher was empty and new, I placed the various dirty glasses and bowls that sat idly on the kitchen counter inside. It was their turn.

And somehow in the middle of this small chore, it occurred to me what seems to be true: Nothing is ever finished. Nothing. Ever. In the present circumstances, clean dishes came out and dirty dishes went in -- pretty straightforward, pretty simple, pretty d'oh. But the idea that I had somehow finished something was more myth and hot air than it was reality. It wasn't that the notion of finishing something was naughty or stupid or unclear, but rather that it was just a figure of speech ... something convenient in language if untrue in fact.

And if things -- all things, not just the dishwasher and its demands -- never really ended, then it was likewise a myth that anything somehow began. It simply didn't compute.

Well, perhaps it was one of those moments where "you had to be there." But even as a purely intellectual bauble, think how much weight gets lifted off your shoulders if things neither begin nor end. Really, wouldn't it be a lot lighter? Easier? Less thorny?

Success-failure, me-you, love-anger, tall-short, smart-dumb ... just lighter, more in tune, and easier. I'm not talking about some oozy-goozy, one-great-flow, everything-is-one, spiritual-popcorn-book drivel. I'm talking about literally lightening the load, making your own life easier ... not to mention more in synch with the facts.

OK ... I'll finish here. :)


  1. Lovely imagery and metaphor. I hadn't thought of the finishing illusion that we impose upon ourselves before. It's so true and builds expectations way to high. I guess instead of "Just be" we say, "Just do."

  2. I always thought it was faster to just do the dishes than use a dishwasher. Maybe I will look into it another day - or not

    Ta for the tips.