Inspiration in the Ordinary

I clearly remember being a teenager and a voracious reader. I would buy a book and devour it in one day. They took me out of my ordinary life and I loved being transported to another place, putting myself into some strange and new situation with the main characters, trying to find myself and my awkward, intense teenage feelings reflected back to me though the words of the author. (Did you ever read anything by Judy Blume?)

More years than I would like to think about have passed since those leisurely days spent lost in a book. Recently, I noticed that I had lost connection to what I was reading. No doubt influenced by the nature of the internet, I just drop into my favorite blogs and back out, skimming through articles impatiently, looking for the meat, leaving behind everything “unneccessary.”  I was just getting the facts but missing out on the nuance that makes a story, any kind of decent story, compelling.  The problem is that I don’t have the pleasure of hours of unstructured time. I have a job and responsibilities and relationships that were absent when I was 14. So that means that the books that I do choose to read have to engage me and the book I just finished has certainly done that and it would be my honor to recommend it to you.

The book is Hand Wash Cold, Care Instruction for an Ordinary Life by Karen Maezen Miller.

The other day, I ran into a friend while my nose was buried in this book, her words swirling about me. My friend asked what the book was about and I hesitated before answering. This book is about everything and it is about nothing. It is about how absolutely ordinary our lives are and how absolutely amazing that is. It is about the laundry but is the laundry. The way that she shares her wisdom is so deceptively simple and hard to put into words. Even as I write this, I know that I am at risk of sending people running from rather than to this inspiration but if you are looking for a way to dive into your everyday life, to find joy and pleasure and happiness in all things, including the laundry, then I say give this one a peek and let me know what you think.