Sunday, July 20, 2014

after the ectasy, the laundry

almost everyday is laundry day at our house.
besides everyday wear, everyone in this family does some sort of 
sweaty, sporty activity... that translates to several piles of laundry

and now that it is summer, no matter how much fun we had over the weekend, 
there is always a pile of laundry to be done at the beginning of the week.

buddhist teacher, jack kornfield wrote a book 
titled "after the ecstasy, the laundry"... 
i haven't had the chance to read it yet, 
but i think i know what he is talking about.

we just got back from an amazing camping trip... 

now, after an ecstatic three day retreat, surrounded by friends and family, 
in a beautiful island setting, filled with music, laughter, great food and 
plenty of opportunities to disengage from technology and engage with nature...

i'm faced with mounds and mounds of dirty, stinky, sweaty laundry.

the trip was so much fun... the weather was amazing and our camp site was spectacular.
so coming home to such a mess and so much work can be such a downer.

sports is another great example....
excluding myself, my whole family (including the dog) 
thoroughly enjoy playing soccer. 
during soccer season (which, in victoria, is all year round), 
each member of this clan practise and play up to three times a week.

do you know how many smelly soccer socks result from all that soccer madness?

so what is the point in all this yakity yak???

precisely that...
 after the ecstasy is the laundry !!!
after the fun, carefree camping weekend, is the hard work of daily life... 
after the excitement of a soccer game comes 
the messy mundane business of the every day.

the important point of going on a holiday 
is not to try and escape your everyday life 
but to come back to your everyday life and 
face it with the renewed energy from the trip.

 while my family and i are lucky enough to experience 
ecstatic moments such as our camping weekend,
we (mostly me) know and accept that they will be followed by mounds of laundry.

i truly believe that while spirit is heightened by adventure, leisure, ecstasy... 
it is by doing the hard work, the humdrum business of the everyday 
that spirit is strengthened.

personally, i find retreating into domestic life incredibly calming.  
i like the simplicity of what some people might find mundane:  
school lunches, dishes, cooking, walking the dog.
one of my favourite things to do is to fold fresh laundry from the line.
while my body is moving and working, the simplicity of the task 
allows my mind to wander and daydream 
(maybe... about where to go and what to bring to the next camping trip !!!)




  1. Thanks for linking up Erica! Your post reminded me of this
    Even with just two of us I feel like it is never ending. It's nice when it is done but I can't say I'm that big of a fan of getting it there :)

    1. thanks...i'm gonna have to find your link...

  2. There is so much truth in this! I really love your post Erica. You are right, there can't be light without darkness, highs without lows, ecstasy without laundry.
    Thanks so much for linking up!


thank you for your kind words... they really do make my day !!!