What can I say about, "Hand Wash Cold"? The worst thing I can say about Karen Maezen Miller's follow up to "Momma Zen" is that it's not long enough. It's the kind of book you want to go on and on. I read little bits at a time, hoping it would last but ultimately I came to the end. I felt as if the author had taken my hand and walked me through the garden of life, explaining the pitfalls, the realities, the foibles and the fumbles. Her stories made me say silently, "Oh I did that. I did that too," and "It's alright. There is hope for me."
Metaphorically she likens how we care for things in our life with how we do our laundry (amongst other things). What was blatantly obvious to me was that although I'll read the directions that may say, "hand wash cold" or "lay flat to dry, do not wring out," I will think that doesn't apply to me because a) I do not have the time for such tedious procedures and/or b) I know better than the manufacturer. Which, in itself, can be a metaphorical read on how I've lived my life.
I didn't waste my time flagging pages that particularly spoke to me because every page, every paragraph rang true. But I think the most memorable line was, "The life we are most devoted to is the life we don't have". Guilty of that. Although less so, much less so than when I was younger. And, "The search for greater meaning robs our life of meaning". But I won't stop there, how about this one, "Having the good life can be so simple when you savor the one you have". As she wrote in her first book, it all comes down to doing what is in front of you. Simple, easy, right? Maybe not but worth the effort because the times when I don't, when I'm running after something that isn't right here in front of me or in my heart, I feel fragmented, I don't see the apple blossoms or the lilacs that just came into bloom. I miss out on the warmth of the sun or how good clean sheets feel.
So, Karen - when is the next one coming out?