The trash and recycling routinely are taken from the house to their respective bins every week. The household trash and recycling cans from each room are returned to their places. On Wednesdays I do the week’s laundry, carrying our hamper to the laundry room, placing the garments in the washer followed by the dryer followed by a laundry basket and, after folding, to the drawers of Evelyn’s and my bureaus. At night, the clothes I wore during the day will end up in that hamper unless I’ve worn them only once. If I deem them acceptable enough to wear again, I hang them in my closet for a second time.
For meal prep I take out of the cabinets and drawers whatever cookware and utensils are required for the meals I’m preparing, then place the cooked food on plates which, after the meal is finished, are placed in the dishwasher to be returned to the cabinet once they’re washed.
In cooler weather I take my hoodie (Universal Studios or Ro-Lynn Deli) or other outerwear from wherever it’s hanging, wear it outdoors, and then, upon returning indoors, put it back until next time. When my nose is runny, I take a tissue from one of the half-dozen boxes scattered throughout the house, use it, and then deposit it in a trash can.
Before I can drive my car anywhere I have to take the keys from the hook that I installed on the side of our hutch and place them either in my pocket or, when I get in the car, place them in the console between the two front seats (if I don’t want to sit on them. I have inadvertently opened the sliding side doors to our van with that very procedure). Once home, I take the keys from my pocket and put them back on the hook.
On my way to do grocery shopping I take some bags from the closet in the house and put them in the trunk of my car. I park the car in the store’s lot, find a grocery cart, push it around the store so I can take things off of the shelves, place them in the cart, place them on the self-checkout counter, put them in the bags, put the bags in the cart, push the cart back to my car, put the filled bags in my trunk, drive home, carry the bags into the house, put the car keys on the hook, empty the bags by putting the groceries away, put the empty bags back in the car, and sit down.
What’s the point of all these mundane details? you may ask.
To my way of thinking, there’s some kind of connection between the illustrations I just shared and the Law of the Conservation of Mass (that is, mass can be neither created nor destroyed). As I thought about it, it occurred to me that all we do in life is move stuff from one place to another. Therefore, that must be the secret of life – to understand and accept that we’re here to do nothing more than move stuff from here to there: recycling and trash (from the house to the collection bins); meal prep (from the refrigerator to the stove to the dishes, and then the dishes from the dishwasher [or sink, whatever floats your boat] to the storage cabinet; the laundry (from the hamper to the washer to the dryer to the bureaus) …. You get the idea.
All the matter we need to sustain life is already here. We can change the way it looks or performs, but in the end, all we’re doing is moving it from one location to another. At least, unlike the stone-rolling Sisyphus, our moving stuff around – for the most part – actually accomplishes something, whether it be worthwhile or not.