Monday Morning Wake Up Call

Ordinary isn’t the enemy but instead something nourishing and unavoidable, the bedrock upon which the rest of experience ebbs and flows. Embrace this — the warm water, the pruned hands, the prismatic gleam of the bubbles and the steady passage from dish to dish to dish — and feel, however briefly, the breath of actual time, a reality that lies dormant and plausible under all the clutter we pile on top of it. A bird makes its indecipherable call to another bird, a song from a passing car warps in the Doppler effect and I’m reminded, if only for a moment, that I need a lot less than I think I do and that I don’t have to leave my kitchen to get it.

– Mike Powell, An Ode to Washing the Dishes (NY Times Magazine, June 4, 2019)

Notes: Quote Source: Extraordinary Routines. Photo: Medium


  1. Always interesting to find parallels to MY life in your articles. And not so rare, too!

    Yesterday, us four siblings (from my side) got together for a meal, just us with our partners (and it seems that we might have been lucky that gatherings of families in restaurans are still valid – a change might be coming here these days!). We always have very lively discussions, laughter and somewhat also heated & intimate (not together) exchanges within that family….

    One of the points was that we remember vividly our ‘hated but accepted-with-grace’ dish-washing chores. We sang Sunday school hymns, we goofed about, we fought while doing the washing/drying-up but it was always with a sense of love and humour that clouds of soap bubbles were blown into faces and over the kitchen surface!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. It can be ritualistic. Ordinary ritual. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So true. Agatha Christie said she got some of her best ideas while washing the dishes.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am finding great comfort in ‘the basics’ these days…walking the dogs, doing a load of laundry, running the vacuum. Maintaining a sense of order and calm in my little corner of the world has taken on added urgency. So much that I cannot control right now…the things that do fall within my purview have become quite precious.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. All the invisible work right David ☺️I’m relating to pruned hands 🤓 happy Monday ~ smiles hedy

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    The fabric of life that gives us stability!! … “Ordinary isn’t the enemy but instead something nourishing and unavoidable, the bedrock upon which the rest of experience ebbs and flows. Embrace this … Mike Powell, An Ode to Washing the Dishes (NY Times Magazine, June 4, 2019).”


  7. Simple but Profound!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. We are in sync today David. I wrote my blog before coming here to visit to find my thoughts reflected in your offering.

    How lovely.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. If my love of washing the dishes contributes to my ordinariness, I’m all in, David. Coincidentally, I have been working with a Meetup group on researching non-ordinary experiences. This morning I woke up at 4:30 with the insight that in order to better define and understand non-ordinary states, one must define and understand ordinary states! This only begs the question, is my early morning insight coinciding with your post an ordinary or non-ordinary experience? 🙃

    Liked by 1 person

  10. rituals, the simpler the better, bring a sense of comfort

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I am a big fan of routine…

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Since your talking about dish-washing…I just can’t help this need to share…we laughed and conversed when he read this book to our family…it is on Kindle too…’Dishwasher’mby by Pete Jordan -so good. Make a point to read the Editorial Reviews & then reader reviews!
    He was booked on Letterman too…though he sent his friend or roommate in his place and they didn’t inform the Letterman Show!
    “Dishwasher is the true story of a man on a mission: to clean dirty dishes professionally in every state in America. Part adventure, part parody, and part miraculous journey of self-discovery, it is the unforgettable account of Pete Jordan’s transformation from itinerant seeker into “Dishwasher Pete”—unlikely folk hero, writer, publisher of his own cult zine, and the ultimate professional dish dog—and how he gave it all up for love.”
    Amazon link:

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I love the photo…the stop motion amazing…

    Liked by 1 person

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