I’ve been fighting a bug over the last week — one that kept me in bed for a couple of days. When you teach, you sort of expect that as one of the costs of the job: the kids get sick, so you probably will, too.
In the meantime, my car — parked under a shedding elm — has become an embarrassment. Tiny leaves and dirt cling to the roof and doors, creating a mosaic that looks more slapped-on than art. It was time.
As a kid, I remember going to the car wash with my dad. Back then, you’d get out of the car, hand over your keys to someone in a blue uniform and name-tag who would drive your car through an assembly line where car washers (people!) would wash your car in parts. Someone would scrub the wheels while someone else would soap and rinse the exterior. At the end of the line, a crew would descend with rags in hand to dry every inch, while someone with a vacuum would be opening all the doors, running in and out sucking up all the debris. It was an event.
Later, the car wash became automated, and we would watch through huge windows as it ran automagically through sprays of water and soap, getting scrubbed and waxed.
Today, of course, we sit comfortably in our car, punch in a secret code for the car wash we’ve bought and spend a few minutes in the belly of the wash itself. Except for the one time my car got stuck inside the wash — with me stuck inside the car, honking the horn and praying someone would hear me before the next car started down the assembly line — I love going through the car wash.
It’s quiet. It’s meditative. And yesterday, as I snapped my iPhone camera . . . it was art.
Yesterday, something I had to get done became a few minutes of relaxation, a few minutes of seeing something new.
I didn’t do anything to the pictures, except for the last one, which I cropped to highlight a beautifully sculpted mass of water.
This last shot is my favorite:
What other everyday “jobs” become a mediation — or a launch pad for beauty and art? I wonder where else we might shift our focus so that the mundane becomes something special, something almost sacred?