Posted by: sulya | 23 June 2010

Praise Be for Steel Wool

Every once in a while there is tremendous satisfaction found in something small that actually gets accomplished.  In high school it was the maudlin and profoundly pleasurable tendency to completely black out just one page in my most boring text books with a giant indelible marker and then with a gold paint pen write something like, “This is your future,”  on top of the blackness.

The smooth even lines of blackness filling the page until there was nothing left of, say, page 156 of “Geographie du Quebec et du Canada” but the perfect symbolic representation of its effect on my very being and soul…

Oh yeah.  It was like that.

A day or so ago, however, after I made a huge birthday meal for the man friend (Roast Beef with a fresh sage, garlic, salt, pepper, olive oil and a little bit of butter rub, roasted over top of pearl onions, served with slow roasted – 3hrs – Greek lemon potatoes, green and yellow beans and followed by homemade – completely from scratch I might add – chocolate buttercream cupcakes) I realized that I actually had steel wool in the house and the roasting tin got scrubbed of two years of stubborn burnt spots.  Two years worth.


I’m not much of a clean freak as most who know me will attest to, but the satisfaction of that pan going back to looking basically new just because of a simple cleaning utensil that I had just never had in the house before was one of those moments that make me feel as though other things might actually be as simple, like it all doesn’t have to be so mercilessly complicated all the damn time…

Like, for example, how impossible everything with my amazing son always is.  Impossible to have him for longer than usual because he drives me crazy and pushes every boundary, tests every limit.  Impossible to drop him back off at his fathers after 2.5 weeks because he is such an amazing, creative, intense, loving and smart little man and missing him is like being burned with hot oil.

Not everything has to be like that.

Sometimes you can satisfyingly cover up the thing that annoys you until you can’t see it anymore and genuinely move on; my university education and subsequent educational experiences were in no way harmed by my minimal acts of high school text book vandalism.  Sometimes you have the right tool to-hand and you can scrub away mess easily and quickly and smile and genuinely move on to whatever mess comes next…  Some things can be and are truly lingeringly simple.

Small things usually.  Silly things perhaps.

But I can and should do this more.  Perhaps we all should?  Stand closer not farther away.  Breathe more deeply, more slowly.  Finish something small.


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