Discovery in Dishes

22 Sep

I’ve really been beating myself up about employment. I want a job to fill that space (in my heart, my bodily rhythms, my soul) but can’t seem to find one even when the perfect opportunity has arisen time and time again. I haven’t been without a job since I was 14 and not having one these past few months has really impacted the way I think and habituate myself.

Tonight I invented a new method of handwashing dishes without using your hands to do the preliminary dirty work. My drain has no stopper so I can’t soak them like my grandmother used to (I used to love the scene of the bobbly cups and plates shifting around through the soap clouds). I soaked my dishes overnight filling them with water and put off washing them till just now. I covered them with zig-zags of Dawn and used the wonderful spray-gun  hose to push them around the sink. I know it sounds LAZY and you’re probably going to tell me it wastes more water (where is it going?) but it was an interesting process to watch unfold. It was like I saw the mechanics of my brain deliver some plan as to how to accomplish this task over a duration of time and through completely different means than I had ever been instructed to do (assuming that this is not the regular method of washing dishes for most people).

I want to return to my hesitation with the dishes. I’m one of those people who despite complete earnest efforts have failed to get over the gag-reflex of dishwashing. I don’t know what the hell my problem is. The four dishes in my sink had contained leftover pasta with sauce and its accessories. This crime scene in my sink was also heightened by dead   B e e   in my sink that refused to be flushed away with the initial water flow.

As I kept up my method of spraying and scrubbed the dishes with a long sponge, I realized in all its stupidity, that this method had lessened the anxiety of dish-doing. I continued this process for 10 minutes and it was over in an instant. The   B e e   flushed down the drain after a while and eventually I picked up the different pieces in the sink and hand scrubbed them without gagging.

I have a point.

I never would have done with years ago…coming home to dishes, or clearing dishes after a rushed supper just home from dance/work/class/extracurricular-something-or-other, I would have dumped them in the dishwasher. This has left me without a good sense of handwashing dishes as a normalized activity and therefore, something unfamiliar. Without a job, without places to be other than class, I have these moments to myself where I’m not trying to accomplish things in a rush so I can sit down and figure out how to make them an integrated part of myself and therefore more normalized. If something feels more normal, you are less likely to hesitate over it, it comes more naturally, and its not a fear. The gag-reflex becomes removed from the situation.

I doubt I’d be figuring these kinds of things out if I was employed right now. Maybe I’m just supposed to be in this type of place right now. Figuring out who I am and how I articulate/do/process/engage things comes first and my whole life I’ve been doing it backwards. If feels like my dishes are my chance–to go back a little, re-center my footing, firm foundation.


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