Book review: Hand Wash Cold: Care Instructions for an Ordinary Life (Karen Maezen Miller)

Via Todd Mayville
on Nov 8, 2010
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Most of us live waiting for our lives to start. The thought of “Once I get this or Once I get there then my life will really begin” haunts the thinking of the vast majority of us, and it is this thinking that Miller says is a huge mistake. The lives we are living right now, right here are our “real lives,” dirty laundry and all.

Hand Wash Cold is a warmly written look at the way we live our lives, using common, mundane yet intimate tasks: laundry, cooking, washing the dishes, working in the yard to remind us that even in the midst of the ordinary lies the opportunity to experience the extraordinary. All it takes is for us is to pay attention to our lives, especially the ordinary bits. Calming and introspective, this book will lead you to an appreciation of life, sweaty socks, dirty dishes, and all.

From New World Library and available from your local, independent bookseller. (Shop local, shop independent, and tell ‘em you saw it on Elephant Journal!)


About Todd Mayville

Todd is a single dad of four diverse and lively kids, and is an English teacher and climbing team coach at a local public high school. A rock climber, cyclist and avid reader, Todd also practices yoga and meditation as often as he possibly can, which helps him stay at least a little centered and sane.


2 Responses to “Book review: Hand Wash Cold: Care Instructions for an Ordinary Life (Karen Maezen Miller)”

  1. Hi, Todd. Sounds like a good book. This is certainly one of the most profound things I've gotten from Yoga–the ability to enjoy the moment, any moment, and seeing it as extraordinary, not by trying too hard to see it that way, but by simply by relaxing and paying attention.

    Bob W.

  2. I was just thinking I should write a review for this lovely book – it truly is a gem – watch for an interview with the author on December 2nd!! – A Zen Guide to the Holidays with Karen Maezen Miller