Life and washing machines

Life and washing machines

Imagine you are one of the Gods sitting on your throne in the Kingdom of Heaven watching your universe below. Do you think you will see these little creatures like human beings and animals and insects and birds all scurrying around like tiny little programmed puppets on strings, moving along in a straight, linear, well-planned continuum to God knows where?

No. On the contrary, I think what you would actually see is a fully automatic washer-dryer, mixer-grinder, crusher, dough maker, juicer cum churner cum frother with agitators and tumblers and impellers and blades and other what have you, all rolled into one humungous tub that we call the world. Take a peek through the glass door of your washing machine and you will see what I mean. It’s not as if there is too much clarity in there, is it? Clothes are not moving around serenely and quietly in a nice, systematic, orderly manner, even though we may think we have chosen Smart Wash or whatever! In actuality, the contents of that tub are being thrown together and ripped apart and crushed and pummeled against each other and against the walls of the tub by the agitator or impeller all the time. And yet, out of all that confusion and disorder, out of all that violence and chaos, our clothes are washed and rinsed and scrubbed and cleaned and whitened and softened and then they come out all crisp and fresh and ready to wear! And then we open the lid and throw in more clothes and the whole darn cycle starts again!

And now, step back from your puny little world, take a deep breath and if you can’t imagine the entire universe, visualize just this Earth, your home, as your world. Close your eyes and think of that beautiful, glowing, radiant globe of blue and green and white and brown and emerald and so many other vibrant colors. See it revolve and rotate and churn and turn in an eternal play of light and darkness and shadow. You should feel the crunch of the earth moving under your feet, you should feel the churn in your stomach as it spins, you should hear the roar of the oceans in your ears and the cosmic palpitation of the agitator in your heart as your world turns topsy turvy every few hours.

Except that in the case of this world, there is no stopping or even pausing. It’s always happening, the machinery is always going, in this great never ending all-systems-go cycle, even when new living beings and inanimate objects are being automatically added and taken out, becoming dirty and getting washed repeatedly and continuously. There are no different programs for colored clothes and white clothes and small clothes and dirty clothes and light loads and heavy loads. It is all just one cycle and one program and we all just get dumped in there with the rest, and we have to manage our lives with them. We will be thrown into each other, bashed and mashed and thrashed by the water and other clothes and the machinery inside. Nothing seems to be in your hands, you don’t control a darn thing, there is no escape.

But yet, I am wrong. There is something.

In living through all this pandemonium and disarray, if we can find a way to understand the needs of the other clothes in the tub, give them room and freedom to breathe and live and let live, if we can make sure that we are constantly washing and rinsing off the dirt that threatens to engulf us every second of our lives, if we can make sure that we don’t let our dirt rub off on others but help them clean their souls and hearts as we clean ours, if we can let the colors of their wings shine and glisten like our own, if we can make this roiling and stirring and tossing become a celebration of life and its living – and then in the end when it is time to go, we can go out fresh and happy and smiling and content that, even if we didn’t do great things, we always tried to do what is good and the best and noblest for ourselves, for our loved ones and for the world, then that is enough. That will be a nice pleasant way to leave the world.

It would have been a life worth having lived.

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