This October, Jo and I will have been married for a decade. In all those years, we’ve never had a dishwasher: until one came with the house we’ve been renting since February. And to be honest, it was quite nice not to have to do the dishes (although it was Jo who wanted a dishwasher, it was me who washed most of the dishes over all that time).
But today, instead of loading used plates etc. into the dishwasher until it is full, I have washed up after breakfast and lunch by hand. I’m not sure why; but it was only in doing so – feeling the weight of the plates (a wedding present, as it happens) in my hand; the water running from the tap, the (environmentally friendly) detergent bubbles; the cloth – that I realised exactly what I had lost. With the dishwasher – and likewise the washing machine; and so much technology – we lose touch: literally, with the things around us, the artefacts of our lives, the world we live in; and metaphorically, with each other, with ourselves. Today the simple act of washing up was a small act of healing.
(Kester Brewin posted something recently on a similar theme, in regard to the surface-nature of the computer, and the resulting loss of depth.)
sensory impoverishment , tactile , touch