Saturday, March 13, 2010

Routine or Ritual - Frame of Mind

Thomas Merton in one of his books referred to his daily 'ritual' of making his coffee, a statement   well worth reflecting on whenever one of the normal potentially mundane routine tasks of every day life is done as an another viewpoint would be to regard  such  tasks as routine and  tedious household chores. If  the feeling that the task is dull becomes part of one's mindset then it risks not only actually becoming dull but also causing the part of the day in which it is done as being unattractive. The converse  seems to apply if whether consciously or sub consciously the task is regarded as a ritual.

Coffeee making with a filter  is a good example as  all the various little activities associated with producing a good cup, could indeed  be regarded as boring/tiresome- lettiing the cold water run,  rinsing the jug, unsealing the grounds, finding and loading the filter, pouring the cold water  through, picking out a decent (tall thin shape) mug, retrieving some milk from a dark corner of the fridge, smelling the aroma as the now hot water soaks up the coffee from the filter paper and finally... Yet  looking at these tasks as one of life's richnesses,  converts the whole process from a  daily chore or routine to a colourful  ritual  associated with each early morning. The day becomes brighter as a result

 I recall years ago whilst on holiday in Tangier, seeing a local bazaar stall holder setting up his wares each morning  at the same time and place. The goods he traded in were of the shiny brass trays and other highly polished metal artifacts variety.Of course  his tasks seemed  rather heavier duty than  the mere making  of a cup of coffee  yet he appeared to undertake them with enthusiasm. At the time I wondered about the  hard lot of  most men and women in terms of our having to attend to the same outwardly dull and sometimes  difficult looking tasks each day but  the realisation now just begining to take hold is that for many who  think of those tasks as   forming a  living ritual, they can really become part of - despite the feeling of cliche that the phrase evokes -  life's rich tapestry.

1 comment:

Employment Tribunals and Covid-19

Having ongoing employment issues being dealt with by the Employment Tribunal system before the Covid-19 pandemic and still continuing after ...