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Modern appliances are wonderful things, and some of them, like the washing machine, are ones we can’t imagine doing without. So it is, for many people, the clothes dryer, but there’s something to be said about hanging the damp clothes on a line, to be dried by the summer’s warm breeze.
Yes, it takes more time than stuffing the clothes in a receptacle and pushing a button. But sometimes, the time we take to do a chore pays benefits in ways we can’t imagine. In the artwork, Sophie and Rose (set at the historic Hughes House near Port Orford, OR), mother and child surround themselves with sheets and fabric, and share a sense of companionship as the child reaches down to the basket to “help.”
It’s likely that the little girl’s assistance will cause the job to take longer than it otherwise would, but efficiency is not the pinnacle of what we can hope to achieve as human beings. On a warm summer day, it feels good to be outside, feeling the sun on one’s face and the slight breeze as it kisses the skin. It also feels good to be sharing the moment and time together: children are grand conversationalists, and their observations about the world and life frequently make us smile, and think. There’s no pretension to their thoughts, which often run along literal lines.
It is often during these “boring” chores, the ones that are so easily eliminated by the use of modern appliances, that we have time to think, to ponder, our wonder. Our mind, not demanded for strong focus on the job at hand – like hanging clothes, washing dishes, or weeding – is free to wander about and dream, daydream, speculate, analyze, meditate, or pray. And if we are with a friend, we are able to chat and converse, question and joke, tell stories and listen to them.
How much we lose when our sole goal is to be efficient!
A companion piece to Sophie and Rose is Wild Child, also on this site.
Featured in 21 Fine Art America groups.
Third Place win in the A Is for Abode contest by the ABC Group, September 2018
July 18th, 2018
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