Visit the Abbey of the Arts online retreat platform to access your programs:

Zen of Housework

Rachel at Swandive left me my 1000th comment and so is my drawing winner!

Another wonderful poem about finding the sacred in the most ordinary:

The Zen of Housework

I look over my own shoulder
down my arms
to where they disappear under water
into hands inside pink rubber gloves
moiling among dinner dishes.

My hands lift a wine glass,
holding it by the stem and under the bowl.
It breaks the surface
like a chalice
rising from a medieval lake.

Full of the grey wine
of domesticity, the glass floats
to the level of my eyes.
Behind it, through the window
above the sink, the sun, among
a ceremony of sparrows and bare branches,
is setting in Western America.

I can see thousands of droplets
of steam — each a tiny spectrum — rising
from my goblet of grey wine.
They sway, changing directions
constantly — like a school of playful fish,
or like the sheer curtain
on the window to another world.

Ah, grey sacrament of the mundane!

-Al Zolynas

More to come tomorrow. Blessings to you!

-Christine Valters Paintner

You might also enjoy

Monk in the World Guest Post: Kate Kennington Steer

I am delighted to share another beautiful submission to our Monk in the World guest post series from the community. Read on for Kate Kennington Steer’s reflection Heart of Stone. I arrived at February 2023 in a post-viral fatigue fug, feeling beset by depression, with

Read More »

Soul of a Pilgrim Video Podcast Day 2

Blessing for Packing Lightly*Winnowing God, you ask us to release, let go, surrender, and yield all that we canin service of making space for what is most essential. The more we set aside that which burdens us and takes up too much spacethe more room

Read More »

Monk in the World Guest Post: Mary Camille Thomas

I am delighted to share another beautiful submission to our Monk in the World guest post series from the community. Read on for Mary Camille Thomas’s reflection Sitting in Paradise. “Sit in your cell as in paradise,” St. Romuald says in his brief rule for

Read More »

7 Responses

  1. Thank you for the much-needed poem by Al Zolynas Seeing the kind of sacred in Al’s housecleaning also requires a great sense of humor! So I’m going to post this on my fridge to inspire and invoke Joy!

    Congrats Rachel!

  2. Wendy, you are most welcome. I remembered you liked the tree when I posted it. Hope your birthday was marvelous!

    Thanks Lisa & Karla. Suz, you said that so well, there is definitely something very Holy about caring for what we love.

    Blessings, Christine

  3. Oh, that is lovely! I surprised myself by loving hand-washing while in Boston without a dishwasher…so much that I hand washed my dishes the other day. There is something Holy about taking care of what we love.

    Thank you, Christine! I anticipate what you will present each day!


  4. Way neat…I love the imagery! The search for the sacred amidst the mundane is so often right before our eyes, as you so aptly illustrated in word! Thanks Christine! –Karla

  5. Lovely poem : ) And what was even more lovely was the birthday card you made and sent me! The tree you made was just so beautiful Christine! I am so touched!

    Thank You So Much…And Blessed Week : ) Wendy