Sunday, May 3, 2009

Great Sensations 5/2/09

Great Sensations 

Sunny at times with high cumulus clouds
Temp 65F Wind 10-25mph westerly

I woke up today thinking about what a good night's sleep I had (although it started at 1 AM because Sister Cindy cannot go to bed the same day that she wakes up) and thought about why. What made last night such a good night of rest?

Well, it starts with one of the necessities of being here and that is our division of labor. Sister Cindy spend a lot of time cooking for the people who visit us, either for missionary discussions, game night, firesides, and district meetings or when we just feed a companionship or two to give them some comfort and a meal of something other than cheap, instant pasta.

As a result of being in the kitchen a lot, where her new little computer is on from the moment we enter the apartment until the wee hours of the morning, she also spends the time reading emails, sending emails, or listening to last week's internet news.

With her virtual absence from all other forms of housewifery, I am the maid. I do the cleaning, clothes washing, ironing, hanging, repairing, opening, closing, fetching, and am a general gopher; except I'm not allowed out of the apartment alone because I might get lost or accosted and she would lose her maid and have to deal with getting the body back to the states, etc.

Now, I have thought a great deal about sensations lately, partly because I am experiencing fewer of them as I age, and about how we discover them, use them, enjoy them, and mourn their demise. I observe that children, as scientists, experiment with things they discover and decide what they are, how they work, and whether or not they generate some form of pleasurable sensation. Somehow forbidden things are higher on the list of "to do's" for many than those on the permitted list, but it seems that sensations quickly loose their attraction after they become routine. Eating, excreting, crawling, walking, making sounds, throwing food, etc. all become routine and in doing so lose their attractiveness.

I have never been one to focus on the forbidden. I'm not sure what that means, but I have found obedience to norms, morals, mores, God, and my mom were usually the best choices and resulted in fewer painful sensations. I love adventure, but I'm not high on pain so that has modified my exploring somewhat. That leads me to the discovery of my latest pleasurable sensation.

I remember a line from a movie I saw once, I think it was "Dances With Wolves", where an old Indian says, there comes a time in every man's life when the best thing he can have is a warm fire. So . . . back to the point. One of my duties is the wash and I have discovered a new pleasurable sensation that I came upon only by accident, but it has been a joy since then. It was stimulated by something that I saw Kathy Clayson do one day at her cabin in Tahoe the morning we were to leave. I had never seen anyone do this and I marveled at the thoughtfulness, not knowing the pure joy it can bring to the sensation-starved. She said that she started doing it for Don, her first husband who died some years ago, and he loved it.

So, as I was doing the wash several months ago that memory came to me and I decided to try it. I was thrilled and amazed at how such a little thing like that could stimulate and please. It has been a part of my washing routine ever since and I have tried to augment the sensation-rich experience with new laundry products and ancillary accouterments, but the basic concept is still the core.

OK. I have strung you out long enough. You are yelling at your computer, audibly or mentally, the question that has been at the heart of mankind's search for the new and exotic since Adam, "WHAT IS IT?' Well I will tell you. It is getting into bed and experiencing . . . freshly washed and IRONED sheets. Try it.

What a sensation. What a country.


Trisha said...

Where is my maid? Oh yeah it is still me. One day when we are on our mission it might change.

Shannon Simmons said...

Oh dad. You are fantastic. I will have to consider ironing my sheets. Its just me, so I may have to negotiate my impatience with the curiosity of what ironed sheets will feel like....

Marilyn said...

We're baaaaack! Now I've got one for you to think about - We had friends in Oregon - HE insisted on new freshly washed and ironed sheets EACH night (and he wasn't the one doing the washing and ironing!) He also would only drink bottled water - 25 years ago before it was fashionable, or needed - purchased by the 10 cases each week (my son loaded them into the car). Needless to say, eventually there was a divorce, but I think he was the one to find a new girl friend. I would have thought that the wife would have been the one to toss him out along with the iron. Marilyn