We all walk ancientrails. Welcome to the journey.

Essential Work

Written By: Charles - Jun• 26•20

Summer and the Moon of Justice

Friday gratefuls: Calming down after Seoah’s departure. Getting into a rhythm with housework, cooking. 45 degrees this morning. Derek taking away our logs. Paper. Computer screens. My hand held computer. Day. Night. The power of the people. The screeching evidence that Trump is bad. Those seeing it now and changing their minds. Living in interesting times.

A nod to the nobility of housework. Seoah taught me many things, one of them being the nobility of housework. It’s not a burden, a distraction, rather it’s an expression of love. Those who know this have their own cache of knowledge and skills.

Cleaning has been unveiled, again, as critical to our survival. Hospitals came to this realization a while ago with the spread of antibiotic resistant strains of various bacteria. Cleaners became “essential” workers. Note, and this is important, that essential does not mean worthy of more pay or status. Just like women or men doing housework.

Seoah would take our cutting board and, after dousing it with vinegar, leave it out to bask in the sun. She was scrupulous in her cleaning. And, she cleaned frequently, using this product and that product, but mostly relying on muscles. “Since Americans (leave their shoes on), it’s important to clean the floors.” Each night before she went to bed the sink and the stove had to be clean.

Her cooking showcased the sort of skills a different culture brings to this necessary task. She steamed small carrots, sweet potatoes, and cabbage to use later, as snacks, appetizers, pickups for other food (the cabbage).

She made rice in batches, showing me how. Always rinse the rice three times. Then put water into the pot just above the first knuckle on a hand palm down on its bottom. Instapot on rice setting.

Her cooking emphasized sauteing, boiling, sesame oil, vegetables. All of her Korean foods were done from scratch, drawing on years of cooking, first with her mother, then on her own. I learned some of her dishes, but mostly I paid attention to her thinking as a cook. What goes with what. When to stop cooking. What ingredients do I need to keep in stock. How her culinary imagination worked.

It is my pleasure, she would say when we thanked her. She meant it. Her work was always done with eagerness, a smile, even joy. Keeping house, making a home are critical to our sense of well being, especially in these stay at home times. Seoah taught me a lot about how to do it well and, how to engage it with love.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.