Meaning in the Mundane

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe task of doing laundry – washing, folding, drying, putting away – is my Myth of Sisyphus. I still envision a time (an hour or even an afternoon?) when all the laundry is clean and I may rest. But each time I come close, the laundry hamper reveals a pile of dirty socks and wet towels that I swear weren’t there a minute ago.

Because I am who I am, I decided to approach the laundry differently this week. I dumped all the dirty clothes on the kitchen floor, hoping I’d see it as inspiration for the task – like the promise of a pretty picture at the bottom of my bowl if I eat all my peas. All that stood between me and the ability to walk through my kitchen was umpteen loads of laundry.

I was inspired alright – inspired to curse the idea, kick the piles, and avoid the scene of the crime.

Then I saw our youngest son dash across the room and hurl himself into the center of the mess. He wore the same expression he has when jumping into a swimming pool or diving into a pile of leaves. He saw no mound of work, only a cushy spot to practice his pretend fainting.

He asked why we don’t do this all the time. So I tried to tell him about The Myth of Sisyphus. We Googled it (because I’m old and don’t trust my memory anymore) and was reminded that Sisyphus wasn’t unhappy in his never-ending task. He was filled with hope each time he pushed that rock up the mountain and only fell into despair in that briefest of moments, when he reached the top and saw the rock roll back down.

Where am I going with all of this? Your guess is as good as mine. But, I will say, laying down in a pile of laundry was pretty fun.

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