Zen & the Art of Washing Dishes

They say life is a series of imperfect facts with many things we can’t control.

But the sequence of washing dishes is not one of them.

Glassware first.

Now this is not a creatively devoid affair.

The number of liquid drops can create a level of foaminess commensurate with your mood.

Use a natural agent if possible, as this will affect the outcome and the pleasure. Playfulness can be created with extra drops.

This will manifest a thing of awe – a galaxy of frothing and popping little planets.

It takes great maturity to be childlike, so add more drops and make a Grand Meringue or a mousse of suds.

Plunge a saturated cloth into the depths of a drinking glass.

Work along the inner sides and bottom, rub the handle and base.

Under a stream of warm water, employ the Tai-chi of the wrist.

Your grace and efficiency will dislodge any particles of detergent at minimal water expense.

Press the cloth – be gentle but firm – around the rim of a wine glass.

This is a ceremonial circumnavigation that pays respect to an extraordinary vessel of conversation and communion.

When satisfied with its purity, baptise with The Rinsing Act.

Place cutlery into the water and let it bathe.

Take a fork.

The spokes of this object, those teeth of utility, can be flossed under a brush.

Use the same delicate attention to a Knife. Then a Spoon.

Cutlery done, it’s crockery’s turn. Take a bowl, give it a circular massage, make it beautiful on the inside and then the out.

Finally, the dented body of a fry-pan can get a slow and thorough scrub – a ‘thank you’ for wilting spinach, toasting nuts, and the decades of unglamorous, expert service.

With hands wrinkled, warm and pliant, pull the plug and release this galactical microcosm. Let it flow through the tunnel to the light of the great Wherever.

What for many is a prosaic and disagreeable task can be one of your day’s most enjoyable experiences.

It is akin to meditation. A reflection. An expression of gratitude. A wiping of the slate clean for tomorrow.

And I hope, my friend, you can find that your mental drawer of clutter

and daily nonsense has been emptied.