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Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Dishpan Beginnings

This is my first posting so I will begin by saying "Hello". I have choosen to name my blog, "The Dishpan Chronicles" because I have spent so much time, over the years, washing the dishes. Dishes are a daily "have to" and only disappear if someone labors at the unpleasant task. I was choosen to be that lucky someone at the age of 8 so have spent part of almost every day of my life at the sink, armed with a sponge, attacking the day's donations to the dishpan. That is a lot of time as I am middle-aged.

When my friends were playing outside and I was cleaning the kitchen inside, I learned how to entertain myself while going through the actions of a very boring task. I would read up to a certain point and think about what I had read or try to figure out what would happen next. As I got older, I would think out issues that had come up in school such as the America's Civil War which led me to question why the Christians in the southern states supported and practiced slavery. That was when I was in 4th grade.

I have over the sink, over the years, written letters in my head that later make it to paper, solved family problems and applied my mind's eye to whatever art project I was currently working on. I have debated many a political issue in my head while scrubbing pots and pans and asked many difficult questions that sent me to the library in search of whatever book would feed my curiosity. The important thing is that the time spent on a dull, daily chore was not wasted. The very repetition of of the tasks involved gave me the freedom to mentally travel and explore.

Now and then I listen to National Public Radio or CNN while my hands are in the suds, which is important to me because I am a very political person. As a result of my political interests, I decided to blog, but my blog will also include thoughts about the daily happenings in my household and some observations about living. Perhaps you could call me a kitchen intellectual. I also DO NOT THINK that one sex is superior to the other.

I have choosen the name "Kitchen Window Woman" because I have a thing about windows. To endure the time spent everyday looking down a drain, I insist that a window is necessary over the sink!! I have had the misfortune during my life of living in apartments that had no window over the sink. I was miserable! A window lets the light in and one can look up and out at the sun, clouds, trees, or persons passing by. A window offers one a view and can be opened or closed just like the eyes. I prefer to have my eyes open.

I decided to use "Kitchen" because it is the place where so many women spend their time, and it is also often the hearth and heart of the home. The kitchen is a place to practice nourishing. It is also the place where for centuries women have gathered for discussion and comfort. I am proud that I have used my kitchen time to further my intellect and broaden my world view.

Our local Republican rag (the only newspaper in our city) carried a story that took my breath away in the Sunday edition of what passes for a foreign news section. Entitled, Bringing out dead a way of life for group, it describes the Tlatelolco International Rescue Brigade.

These penniless Mexican men managed to travel half the world over to Indonesia after the tsunami. Once there they put to use the very special skills that they developed after the 1985 earthquake in Mexico City when each volunteered to recover bodies. They traveled to Iran last year to do recovery work in Bam.

It goes without saying that the recovery of bodies, especially so long after the event would be difficult, unpleasant, and even dangerous. Only very special people could do such a job but these men go beyond special into the realm of grace, yes grace. They have asked for nothing but recover bodies wherever they are needed. They are intent on easing the loss for grieving families and making sure that the remains of each body are treated with dignity. Los Topos(The Moles)as they call themselves, form a circle around each body and say a prayer. It is not a prayer against any religion or for any religion, it is a prayer of one human for another....a prayer with respect. It does not matter to them the religion of the dead or the survivor. These gentle, caring men who exemplify grace itself have not lowered themselves by proselytizing.

The recovery of one set of remains found a member of Los Topos tearing a page from the Koran to place with the body in the bag. He was honoring the local custom regardless of what his own beliefs may have been.

Los Topos should give us all pause especially in view of the relief workers who have shown an utter contempt and lack of respect for the victims of the tsunami whose religious beliefs differ from their own.

A couple of brief comments before I sign off.... No, I do not have and never have had, a dishwasher. And I am fortunate to have married a man who's sexual identity is not defined or threatened by the chores he does. My husband is a self-actualized man who sometimes washes the dishes to give me a break. He has changed diapers too, and I love him for it.

With one dishpan hand, I bid you adieu

.....Kitchen Window Woman


Blogger Islander said...

BRAVO! BRAVO! BRAVO! You have done it! Happy Blogging to you. It was great that you added the story of the Mexican men who went to help with the tsunami. I will look forward to many good reads.

9:20 PM  
Blogger jennifer said...

Hello! This is a very nicely done and equally thoughtful blog. It is a joy to read. Thanks for visiting my little blog. I'll keep checking yours for new entries and comment and invite you to do the same. Don't worry about getting the "hang" of blogging. I'm convinced it's a trial by fire kinda thing. peace!

6:06 PM  

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