Picasso, Woman Ironing (1904) Guggenheim Museum
It’s all in the preparation, Mama used to say.
It doesn’t matter if you haven’t got two pennies to rub together, if you put in the preparation
and make the most of what you do have,
then people will appreciate it.
And you’ll feel better too, knowing you’ve done your best.
That’s what she used to say.
But it’s hard work, tedious often.
So what if there’s a few creases? Throw it on and let’s go out!
Slap on the paste and let’s get that new wallpaper up!
Who wants to wash down paintwork and measure plumb lines first?
Let’s sing Alleluias – it’s party time! Pop open the Prosecco!
Nobody really wants to go through forty days of preparation first.
Nobody bothers with that nowadays, do they?
Preparation. Getting ready. Putting things right.
Perhaps letting some things go.
Letting go of old habits, old ways of doing things.
Letting go of those dark thoughts,
of washing them clean
and ironing them till they look fresh and crisp and brand new.
And is there anything nicer than a bed freshly made with clean cotton sheets?
Nothing on earth is better than that.
Cleanse me with hyssop, and I shall be clean:
Wash me and I shall be whiter than snow. (Ps 51.7)