The Zen of Ironing

Lately I have done a massive amount of ironing. Not of my clothes, mind you. I rarely feel bothered to iron an outfit and if I do, it must be something really spectacularly special. No, I have been ironing fabric like crazy. I think quilting is equal parts sewing and equal parts ironing, or at least that is what it seems.

 

The back and forth motion of the iron, with quiet pauses and hisses from the steam, is amazingly relaxing. I feel my heart beat slow down, my breathing become deeper, and my body relax. Connected to this is a feeling like my brain emptying, as all the competing thoughts seem to ease into the edges. Ironing feels like a zen meditation exercise. I’ve also found my thoughts to be clearer when I iron, as though I can see problems better. When I am done, I feel refreshed and calmer, and dare I say, happier. Maybe because it is part of my larger creative process (since ironing clothes has never had this effect on me)? Or perhaps it is just the quiet act of ironing in its own right. Whatever it is, it refreshes me and makes me ready for the next task.

I found the artwork below while googling “the zen of ironing.” This piece is called just that and is by Beth Krommes. It is a simply wonderful woodcut (click the picture to find out more about it).

The Zen of Ironing,  by Beth Krommes
wood engraving
1987
image 4-3/4×6-3/4″
edition of 500

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4 thoughts on “The Zen of Ironing

  1. I can really relate to this. For me the activity that helps me to slow down and empty my mind of all thoughts is washing dishes. There is something about feeling the hot water running over my hands, the soap bubbles, and the drying towel all coming together in a kind of natural rhythm that leaves me almost every time with a profound sense of peace.

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