being inside the washing machine

Yes, every child's nightmare - having to part with beloved stuffed toy, and watch it get sudsy and dizzy in the centrifuge of the washing machine. But it is a handy image, especially now that we know that stuffed toys are equipped to survive the ordeal.
It seems to me that life kind of goes that way: if one is sensitive to a subject, one keeps stepping on that bumble bee, again and again, until it becomes a matter of stride. Like going round and round in the washing machine. Ah, the imagery of domestic chores.
Solace before one even realises the process of what is going on seems to come too infrequently; we are left on our own to become little warriors in this life. Which leads us to a question: do we want to at least try to be courageous in the face of the storm, to embrace the life that is given to us, even when it resembles so little the toys of yesteryear?
Until we can accept where we are, we are bound the washing machine, going round and round - which is at least slightly more graceful than the idea of being smacked up against a washing board. The other day I watched the most inane movie that was so banal at points, I kept changing the channel - and yet, kept returning to it, because beneath the bargain basement laughs and weird plot maneuvers, the topic was one of my favourites: the way life is versus the way life looks. A superficial man falls for an obese woman, and when he asks his friend why that's so wrong, his fried says something like: because we live in a society (i.e. with "societal norms").
So why was the movie so interesting? The acknowledgement that there is a battle in getting one's values straight. As the battle goes round and round, we learn to get rid of the ego, where it is holding us back, instead of helping us. We learn to recognize what is truly beautiful - which can sometimes look a little funny on the outside until we get to know it better. We get valuable practice in figuring out that sometimes "societal norms" are backwards - but any lemming can tell us that.
It takes strength to swim against the current. It takes will to get vision straight. This is why I mentioned the part about wanting to be a little warrior. I say "little," because there are great warriors, but that level is for the professors of life. I am writing about elementary stages: just getting into the right habits.
It takes so long, so many cycles. But afterwards, one has the pleasure of looking back, and seeing how one has grown. One thinks back fondly to the stuffed toys of yesteryear, and realises one does not need them anymore. That the parameters of life have changed - all except the washing machine, forcing out the stubborn stains. It continues to be hard, but the relief is in understanding what the pain is all about. We are not alive on this planet to clutch onto the toys of yesteryear, no matter how familiar, but to move on, when the time comes, so we have empty arms for something more valuable. That is the cure for the imperfect parenting, school systems, history. It is our chance to clean up a little part of the world.

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