Death happens every day and it misses us every day. On the other hand, we pay very little attention to life. Like sleepwalkers, we move from the bedroom to the kitchen, not noticing the subtle changes in temperature or the evolution of smells along the way. We are not even sensitive to the volume of our own body as we pass through that domestic space, which has become a moral space over time.
“I’m going to wash the pots,” I say, and get up from the sofa where I’ve been sleeping for ten minutes.
My wife says, “Put it in the dishwasher”.
But as a form of asceticism I prefer to brush them by hand. I especially love the exaggerated concaveness of the soup plates. The phrase “deep plate” itself amazes me. I’m not thinking of a physical depth, but a philosophical one. The deep plates in which I ate the alphabet soup as a child had a mystery.
This depth was disturbing. I ate the overwhelming soup to discover the bottom of the plate which was always disappointing and always unusual. I remember these distant scenes as I sponge the soft curves of today’s bowls. I love the foam that liquid soap removes. I am content to rinse the shimmering dish on the counter. There is a question mark in the shape of the bowls.
We think very little about the realities of domestic life that we lead like robots, like machines. We do not pay attention to the vortex that the water creates as it escapes from the sink. Why does it take this form? Why does it rotate clockwise in the northern hemisphere and counterclockwise in the southern hemisphere? Now I’m thinking about my antipodes who will be washing dishes like me. Maybe I could talk to him.
“Hello Antipode,” I say toward the sewer.
My wife walks into the kitchen and asks who I’m talking to. I say this to him with my antipode.
“Yes,” he says. Then feed the cat.
And so the days pass, waiting for an unseen revelation.