Philosophy of Cleaning

Did you ever (here I go again, Andy Rooney) notice how the mind wanders while cleaning? I am preparing for my visitors next Monday. OK, she has three kids under 8 – I know I don’t have to clean too much as the younger you are and the more kids you have, your cleanliness standards can lower for a bit. So that got me thinking about my own standards.

Living alone in Paris there is only me to please in terms of cleanliness – unless I invite someone over but in these cramped quarters, I prefer to meet in cafes. But I am not a total slob! Yet, today as I put some elbow grease and Comet into my actions, I was quite surprised to see that the Formica in the kitchen was a bit lighter than when I started. I wipe the counters often, but apparently I need more than a simple sponge. That led to more cleaning – suddenly I looked with new eyes and found grime in many places.

The old adage is that we clean frantically before our mothers visit. I wondered about my mom’s standards. Frankly, I can’t remember her having me re-clean something that wasn’t to her in initial satisfaction. My siblings may say I was spoiled. So? I do remember my brother on his hands and knees scrubbing the cork tile flooring in the Minnesota house. Glad we moved before I got old enough to be roped into that job.

So my obsession today with cleanliness came from? Cleanliness, they say, is next to Godliness. If that means I get to sit by God for a bit- til it gets dirty again which will be soon given the dust in the French air (remember the dust bunnies from a former post?), if I get to side by him or her, I will ask about the mess going on in the States and the World. And I realized, He or She will probably tell me to listen to the masters he/she already sent – like Jesus or Buddha or even Dr King… the only response is love. OK I do recall the Dali Lama saying something about worldly consequences… about Bin Laden… Oh this gets too complex for me.

Fortunately, I have finished so my musings can stop. Even the floors were washed! I didn’t do much more than vacuum the parquet as I am nervous about doing something that might damage it. It is quite beautiful.

OOPS. Can’t rest on my laurels yet – have to clean the tub. I’ll put on Party Rock to sing and avoid musing. I’d love to play Hamilton but when I do, all the songs are stuck in my mind for at least a week! It’s worse than It’s A Small World from Disneyland!


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