Joy in Dishes

Have you ever watched someone do the dishes? I used to watch my mom all the time. I even think of it sometimes and miss it, especially when I’m “watching” myself do the dishes instead, hehe.

I love watching people do dishes, I always have. It’s such menial work – it’s so simple, so basic and yet I find the repetitive motions mesmerizing. It’s a small thing that separates us from animals, I suppose, and makes us civilized.

In my house it was also bonding time. We never had a dishwasher. Well, we did. Her name is Mom, plus the 10 each that each kid had to do. It’s a time to get together and pitch in, and it’s another opportunity to fight because there is always someone who just likes washing. I’m one of those people. I like to get warm with my hands in the dishwater longer than they’re on the cloth. But once everyone has their position, the best talks are had around the sink as we try desperately to fit the puzzle pieces of bowls and plates back into the kitchen cupboards, wondering how they ever fit in there in the first place and why you even still have that old platter with the crack in it, anyway.

When it’s just my mom and me, we sing. Sometimes a Capella, trying to remember various harmony lines we’ve learned or made up in the past or, more than likely, turning up the volume on The Beatles “1” CD, skipping their later, crazier stuff. And the dishes go so quickly I find myself looking for more. This isn’t something that ever happens when I’m on my own. All the music in the world can’t speed up the process. I’m quite slow at it, actually. Too much of a perfectionist, I like to think.

But this brings my back to my original question; have you ever really watched someone do the dishes? Am I the only one who stands in awe, watching the steam rise from the water, seeing weathered hands turn red-hot in the heat to ensure the utmost cleanliness. Am I the only one who gets lost in the swirl of the cloth and the sound of the water splashing and flying all over, rinsing and soaking the cloth to do it all over again? There’s so much care that’s put in to it, nothing that ever happens in a dishwasher. I feel ancient in this opinion, but I’m sure I can’t be the only one who thinks doing the dishes is a beautiful and enriching experience that I never thought I’d miss. Check in though if the dishwasher I currently use ever breaks. Maybe then I’ll find machines beautiful. But I doubt it.


What to even write about…

You know what’s hard?


I’ve been staring at this empty screen, willing myself to write a blog post about something other than the fact that I don’t really want to blog. It’s scary. But then I closed my eyes and Nessun Dorma started playing. In my head. I couldn’t tell you the last time I listened to this song. Opera is quite lovely to write to. I’ve never done too well writing in silence. I think my best work always comes when I’m enjoying someone else’s.

Having Pride and Prejudice (the BBC version) playing in the background helped inspire close to 40% of all of the writing assignments I’ve ever done, 50% Gilmore Girls – their fast-paced dialogue is second-nature to me and no longer distracts me at all, except to look up for my favourite Jess or Logan moments. I like them both. Anyway, the last 10% of my assignments were done to one of my other movies from my collection of over 100, or to classical music. And now that’s more than enough math for today.

The point is, I never thought to write to opera specifically, but the emotions and the dramatic crescendos lend themselves well to the ups and downs of writing. Until  Habanera comes on. Because I pretend I know the words. That’s the problem with listening to music in general. If it’s a song I know, all other words rush out of my head to make way for the familiar ones with the catchy tune.

I forgot to mention the added bonus which is that my boyfriend’s dad decided to stay home from work today (not the bonus part) and he hates opera. So I think I’ll leave it on for a while. See if I can’t get him to change his tune. In the mean time, I think I’ll try picking up a pen and paper and writing something meaningful instead of this random crap. And if you haven’t done it before, listen to the Queen of the Night Aria from the Magic Flute. I have yet to find a more breathtaking or complex-sounding aria, granted I know very little about opera beyond my simple awe and appreciation. But trust me anyway, and trust me when I say that German Opera Boy is best. You’re welcome.

A Joyful Place

IMG_7624.JPGI wrote this for an assignment in which we were to describe our favourite place, evoking the five senses. I don’t make it to this place often, but just reading this I can close my eyes and feel it. What’s your non-thinking place? This is mine:

The rays of sun lick the tops of the trees and hills and warm my back on this hot summer day. The grass is lush and green from yesterday’s rainfall and covers the fields. It brushes my legs as I wade through, the tall blades unusually sharp against my skin.

Climbing over fences, the rough wood scrapes my hands, covering them in little pieces from its old and rotting structure.

I avoid the cows that are gathered in the middle of a neighboring field. However, it’s all I can do to step around the “cow pies,” evidence that they have walked the same path many times before.  Though I may make it through with clean feet, nothing stops the fresh scent from reaching my nose. With this farm as my second home, the smell is comforting and this place would not be the same without it.

It’s peaceful here with the sweet songs of the crickets and the steady sound of the cows’ low cry.

The calm breeze weaves through the long grass and the trees, making them sing. The air is thick and heavy with moisture and as I breathe in, I can feel it move through every part of me, clearing my nose and leaving my mouth dry.

I kneel down by the creek and feel the water drift over my toes as it runs smoothly downstream, laughing as it trips over the rocks and pebbles that lie, scattered, beneath the shallow flow.

Cupping my hands together, I fill them with the cool water, which leaves a sweet taste on my lips as it trickles down my throat.

Nothing makes me feel as alive and insignificant as this place, and yet it is as though time has stopped. As the world outside continues to thrive, the farm stays still, locked in a time I may never have known. This place is magic.

To blog, or not to blog

Most of you, if anyone is reading this, have probably at least heard of Disney/Pixar’s movie, Inside Out. I was looking forward to this movie for two reasons: for one, the doors it’s opening for kids to understand mental health, but more than that I was excited that there was a movie coming out featuring a main character with my name. The second one of the past two years, actually. My name is Joy. Excited as I was to see Joy (Amy Poehler) in Inside Out, I knew deep down I would be a little disappointed that she wasn’t just like me. She is how I would like to be. As it is, I felt an instant connection to Sadness (Phyllis Smith). Even though she didn’t seem to make sense or fit in, I felt like I understood her. And I like that I have that as a way of describing myself: “my name is Joy, but I can be a lot more like Sadness.” I can’t tell you how many people I’ve introduced myself to that hit me with something along the lines of, “You must be happy all the time.” They’re joking, of course, but it’s a ridiculous thing to say. Still, my name is often a conversation piece, and as an incredibly shy and anxious person I’ve had to learn to come to terms with that. So now, here I am putting it to good use, hopefully.

I’ve debated writing a blog for years, and as you may be able to tell from the title, I still haven’t really decided. I have a lot to write about, and the quality will certainly be better if I write it for someone else. Every time I sit down to write I come up with something more important that I should be doing, and often completely forget what I had planned to write. No more. I have to stop overthinking. So, I can write my little blog about my overthinking tendencies. In particular I think a lot about/question what happiness really is and what will/does make me happy, as well as what makes others happy. So there you go. A double pun. I’m just an overthinking Joy, overthinking joy. Welcome to my blog. Welcome to my brain.