Washing-up-liquid bubbles are covering the greasy water, a hill of dirty dishes are lazily soaking in the sink, my hands are busily working in the water, trying to brush the dirt of the dishes.
My tormented mind is relaxed now: I don’t have to ask why I’m doing washing-up; what is the motivation and purpose behind my current action? In order to complete this task, I don’t have to ask myself questions about the meaning of life; how shall I find my most positive role in the world; whether my action represents the truth; whether it is honest; whether people will like me or hate me for it; whether it is only a part of a partly negative trend; whether it will influence the ‘world’ and how; whether I just want to do it because it is trendy; or if I could really dedicate my life for this and so on.
Washing-up saves me from my questions. Because washing up speaks the morality of the society around me: “Piri, great, finally you are a good girl, a useful member of the society, you know your responsibilities, finally you are not wasting your time, you do know your role and function, Piri you can follow the duty morality“.
It is such a relief to get rid of my questions, because at the same time my tension, confusion, doubts, struggles, fears, my dreams, my aims and enthusiasm have also disappeared. I am standing in front of the sink, my hands soaking in the disgusting water, I am standing as ONE with the washing-up, as One with the washing-up-Piri, me becoming nothing else but the task of washing up.
I am in WASHING-UP PEACE. I am IN PEACE because I do something what I MUST do. I don’t have a choice – what a relief! I am IN PEACE because ‘must’ is called ‘the good’, ‘must’ is made into the ‘moral aim’ of our generalized duty-morality. I am IN PEACE because I let my doing and my motivation to be interpreted and determined by ‘the society’. I let ‘society’ to define me. I mean I interpret myself through ‘the society’-s moral. The peace of that relief! Standing in front of the kitchen-sink, relieved! In Harmony! Being ONE with what I am doing.
I do not normally allow myself to accept to this degree the norms and definitions created by others, or by ‘the society’ at large (norms of good and bad, definitions of the social and individual realities, concepts about possibilities, aims, and identifications of the problems). Not in any other activity feel I ever sure: that’s it! That is what I absolutely, definitely should do! There are endless questions and antagonistic attitudes and feelings about everything in my life and in my aimed-for-life, and these questions never seem to direct me towards becoming able to answer them. I can only find answer-fragments, which – when they are deep enough – only raise more questions. Often I suspect, my questions are not questions, their aim is not searching for answers, but the question itself states: there is NO answer. As if the question was the voice of my final desperateness, stating the impossibility of coming out of the whirlpool. Often there are not even questions, when the punctuality and articulating-ability needed for making questions is not reachable, when I am in a too foggy, dizzy, whirling state, somewhere underneath, underneath. In that state I can only produce pain-shoots, the content of which are the clear, desperate but non-articulate-able negations of whatever these pain-shoots are directed towards.
The main reason for that whirling-underneath-utterly-hope-less state might be a learned command: I should not be able to create anything really new, I should not be able to bring into realization my utopia, my dreams. It gives me two choices:
Either I should give up my most beautiful aims and dreams, I should forget my vision of an emancipated individual and an utopian society, and to give up my plan to dedicate my life to the realization of both.
Or alternatively I should try to find one individual, naturally a man (good looking too) who represents the same vision stronger, more articulated, and IS ABLE TO REALISE IT, to bring it to realization on Earth, or at least in the country where I am. I admit to my own romantic-revolutionary sexism. But I have it. The belief says: Piri, YOU can’t realize your dreams. You are not good enough for it. You are “only” a female. A little female. You were not born to do it.
I have understood long time ago, that the image of the Jesus-Christ-Che-Guevara, and the myth of the genius, the myth of the great artist, of the ‘great men’ is contra-productive. There is no corresponding tradition of the ‘great women’, although in my life I met much more fantastic women than men. One of the aim of the game is to put women down, and women are actively putting themselves down while admiring or searching for the great men.
Despite this knowledge, I keep doing it. If I don’t watch it, I will end up with my hands in the sink of one of these great men. Getting rid of their dirt, not only mine.
(P.S. I wrote this sometimes in the early 1980’s. Che-Jesus image by Fausto Novelli.)