I love the string of well-worn Windsors at our local laundromat
My friend Mike High was well known in our art school days for coining mock mottos and platitudes that were equally absurd and profound, a grey zone that defines the genre. One of my favorites was, “when I launder, my mind wanders; when I wander, my mind launders”. It’s been over 25 years since I last pondered this, and almost as long since I’ve spent any time in a laundromat, which is where I found myself by hazard the other night when our washing machine suddenly broke down.
I’ve had a rare confluence of circumstances over the past week that left me ‘stuck’ in situations, stripped of all options but to simply wait. It’s got me thinking about how much I miss things like riding trains, going to the laundromat, or being snowed in, and what a lost art waiting has become in contemporary life. When I managed to get my truck stuck in the mud on a remote site visit the other day, with just enough charge in my phone to call a friend to tow me out with his tractor, my only option was to sit tight for the afternoon, enjoy the sunshine and take a delicious nap in an apple orchard.
I didn’t realize the extent to which I keep occupied during the course of the day, having successfully eliminated unnecessary pauses and delays from my routine. I had forgotten the feeling of deep comfort and centered-ness and that can accompany unanticipated bouts of boredom. It seems that communications and information technologies have relieved us of many of the anxiety-causing situations that require waiting, but they’ve simultaneously distanced us from the delights of uninterrupted daydreaming. I look forward to retooling my days to increase the odds of idle reverie, and thank fate for having intervened.
some elegant Windsors at a laboratory waiting room in Santa Rosa