9.2.11 Hauling Water, Carrying Wood – Part 46

This afternoon, I hauled a bucket of dishes to the pond. Placed a foot each on a pond stone and squatted. Washed them, dish by dish.

Much of each evening this week, I’ve cleared the grounds of sawed logs and brush, the relatively minor debris and casualties Irene left in her wake.

The human body and the human mind crave physical work of ordinary demand. The body and mind hunger for meaningful, moving rhythm.

I don’t care to make a living hammering and hauling, lifting and lugging. But I do care to shape this one life by more such meaningful work of the back and hands and fingers (what the Greeks called the “midwives of creativity,” those ten digits).

For a moment, I fantasized about not using the dishwasher at all once the power returns, at least until it gets frigid outdoors. Just gather the dishes each evening, I thought, and listen to the swoop of pond water wash over them.  And then I knew better. My romanticism would fade within a week.

Still, for now, this week at least, there is something oddly gratifying about cleaning up the debris and hand washing dishes and hauling buckets of water up the house. Who knows? With the topsy-turvy nature of the next two or so years, these small physical acts sans electricity might not be just a one-week romance.

How about you? Any pleasurable physical engagement with the simple things today or this week? Share your Friday’s three highlights – and let us know where you’re writing from.

See you in the woods,
The Three Highlights Guy


6 responses to “9.2.11 Hauling Water, Carrying Wood – Part 46

  1. Although no physical highlights, I agree on the need for physical engagement, especially from growing up on a farm.

    1) Feeling of spinning, sometimes sitting in place while others spurt into brief forward movements
    2) Feeling of disconnection at times, yet knowing I am rooted in different interactions
    3) Feeling of unsureness while sensing some movement in the right direction

    Maybe I need to get my hands dirty again for everything to gain the right rhythm… all from McKinney, TX

  2. Mine:
    1. Having breakfast with a close friend and mostly just being able to listen and mirror back w/o attachment. A deep connection I hunger for and rec’d.
    2. Being led through the labyrinth of audio-visual craziness by an adept and patient assistant.
    3. Receiving a phone call from my wife minutes ago: “We’ve got a celebratory bonfire going on! The power just returned. I let out a yelp so the men working on the lines down the road could hear me!”


  3. this afternoon I learned to pound poi! Actually, it’s the pre poi product called pa’i ai. it is so pure that it will keep on the counter for as long as a year w/o going bad. an educational and fun afternoon with an immensely passionate and young teacher. He explained that pure poi is probiotic and that the demise of taro/poi production went hand in hand with the physical decimation of the Hawaiian race. so much to learn everyday!

    Kailua, Hawaii

  4. meant to say “passionate and knowledgeable young teacher.”

  5. 1. my brief but brilliant morning yoga as muse session to start the day off right
    2. five minutes of blessed peace and quiet in the midst of a busy day full of teenage angst (welcome to my life for the next ten months), lying down on the grass outside my classroom during a break
    3. changing plans, going with the flow, accepting a spontaneous invitation to a party given by american marines and having way more fun than expected
    ~michelle in guatemala