Thursday, 26 April 2012

Zen and the advanced art of hanging out the laundry

This sculpture is by Lynn Waters
In this blogpost, I am going to consider some more advanced aspects of the important Zen meditative practice:  hanging out the laundry.   

Today is an excellent laundry day and I am riding high on the pride of Guessing the Weather Right.  Although the forecast was uniformly rainy (April showers), I astutely put on not just one but two loads of washing.  I made a considered guess that there would be a couple of hours of good wind to get the towels fluffy and hung out some other things as well (dark manmade fibres).  How richly I was rewarded for trusting to the Gods in this way.  Contrary to all the pontifications of professional weathercasters, it has remained fine all afternoon with even a bit of sunshine.  The showers have obviously passed over the righteous of South Wales and on to the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah Bristol. 

Aah, the purring ecstasy of getting it right and having completely dry laundry to take in when I come home from collecting the Piglet from school. 

BUT, but. I know that to enjoy this moment of triumph would simply be to indulge an idle pride coming before a fall (of rain). This moment should only serve to remind me that nobody - not even professional weathercasters, can predict what the weather will do. (Well, perhaps they can in the Sahara but not in South Wales in April.) I must humbly remember that if today I have guessed it right, this was only at the expense of much staring at the sky and anxsting about whether that dark cloud would pass overhead or drift off towards Sodom and Gomorrah Bristol. 
Weather Britain Hosepipe Ban April Showers
Only a few hours ago the Huffington Post
uploaded this Spring shower picture in an
article about floods and the hosepipe ban. 

Many are the days that I have confidently hung out three whole loads of washing only to have to run out of the house screaming at the Good Fella:  Help me get the laundry in! and in my haste dropping some crystal-white pair of knickers on the muddy flagstones around the rotary drier (Brabantia of course). 

No, fellow followers of the way of the slut, do not allow this moment of amazing laundry-drying achievement to distract you from the true one-ness with weather which can be achieved by total devotion to laundry-drying as a Zen slut art.  One-ness with the weather does not mean we are the raindrops and can guess when they are going to fall on the righteous (of South Wales).  It means we are at one with the chaos that is the universe as represented in the total lack of predictability which is Welsh rainfall.  We must learn to immerse ourselves in the pleasure of rushing out the house with the wind and rain blowing in our faces, screaming:  Oh my God but delectable Derek Brockway whom even my builder relies on said it was going to be a nice day.  

The only predictable thing about the Welsh weather is that while the newscasters howl about hosepipe bans in the South East of England, it will be quietly raining here on the righteous. 

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