Hand Wash Cold


Tonight was the inaugural meeting of the Tranquil Space Arlington bi-monthly book club. We read Hand Wash Cold by Karen Maezen Miller for our inaugural book. This book relates life and life experiences to the seemingly mundane activities that we perform in and around the house - the laundry, the kitchen, and the yard. We spent an hour sharing our thoughts about the book, sharing quotes that we found that resonated with each of us, and realizing that although our situations may be different, we all share similar experiences and have similar things going on in our lives. The discussion was wonderful and everyone shared. Here's a collection of some of the quotes from the book that resonated most with me (there are many more) and some pictures from the evening.

"It's the things we fear that chase us down, that haunt and hobble us until they inevitably overtake us and leave us with the weary self-fulfillment we were so afraid of." (pg 71)

"Unconditional love does not pick and choose. This love comes without judgment but not without action." (pg 83)

"Life arrives in a precise and yet unplanned sequence to deliver exactly what we need in order to realize our greatest potential." (pg 64)

"Happiness is simple. Everything we do to find it is complicated." (pg 33)

"The world needs a homemaker - me - to make a home within it." (pg 66)

"We are not the designers of our lives. Life is the designer of us." (pg 63)

"Somewhere deep in my skin was the capacity for untarnished joy and freedom. How could I find it again?" (pg 33)

"We can only love the world we wake up to. The world where things change, dishes get dirty, we age, we get sick, and, one day, we die." (pg 113)

"Attention is the most concrete expression of love. What we pay attention to thrives. What we do not pay attention to withers and dies." (pg 130)

"when we release ourselves from judgment and inadequacy, we free everyone else from our criticism and blame." (pg 26)

"There's really nothing more to it. For your own peace of mind, get rid of any three-letter word that you might automatically insert before now. As in the or not. Take those out and put nothing else in. Get rid of the idea that now is anything but right here: where you are, as you are." (pg 106)

"Sort the light from the dark, the delicate from the indestructible, and the heavy duty from the hand wash cold. Empty the basket, and empty it again. That's the wonderful thing about laundry: it never ends." (pg 169)

As you can see, there were many elements of this book that resonated with me. Our hour of discussion hit on many of the quotes or elements above in one way or another. We talked about multi-tasking, paying attention, letting go, doing laundry, doing the dishes, and gardening. We talked about life and how life happens. I often like to say that life happens when you least expect it, let it happen. And that is something that I took away from this book. It was filled with some things I knew, some things I had never thought about, and many things that I should remember day in and day out. I have numerous passages highlighted to use at the end of my future yoga classes and expect this will be among the books that I go back to over and over again. I'm excited about our next meeting in December. Happy Reading!

Have you read any good books lately? Any must-read recommendations?

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