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“In a world where people are hungry for quick fixes and for instant gratification, there’s little patience for the long, slow rebuilding process.” ~Dan Hill

I borrowed a professional power washer from a friend and used it to clean up the back porch at the cottage this week.

It gets little sun and lots of moisture so green gunk grows over the winter and builds up over the years.

It took me hours, but there ain’t no green gunk growing there now—the porch shines like it’s brand-new.

It was an immensely satisfying endeavour, combining the emotional experiences of precision, completion, and order.

And the results of my efforts will last for several of years, which is a bonus, because you really don’t want to power wash wood every single year as it will damage it.

I also find folding laundry and cleaning the kitchen very satisfying. The only problem, so to speak, is that they are short-term solutions to on-going chores; they take less time and effort but must be repeated more frequently.

Upon reflection, I realize that what I find so attractive about power washing is the longer-term solution it affords. Unlike doing laundry or cleaning the sink, a power washer provides instant and lasting results.

Instant and lasting.

Given the current state of the world, I think we’d all like to power wash the hell of it, literally and figuratively. Instant long-term clean up. An immediate eradication of uncertainty, inequality and injustice.

There’s no power washer big enough. Our current problems have no instant panaceas and will require on-going elbow grease.

I think we best proceed as though the pandemic and the economy, and the social and racial unrest—and all the rest of the ingredients comprising the green gunk on our collective global back porch, not to mix my metaphors, but there I go—be addressed as though we’re cleaning up after dinner, every single day.

We failed to clean up for years and years and years. Old food has hardened on the plates.

It means we’ll be scrubbing dishes by hand for quite some time.


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