Magic Mundane

magic mundane mandala 010216

“All chat is sacred and magical.” ~ Marcus, MailChimp Help Desk

“People think life is about marriages and graduations and celebrations but it’s really about doing the laundry. The mundane is what life is.”

My artist friend Harriet Arthur is telling me about a piece she created last summer called Life Line. Strung between two trees in a front yard in the Belmont neighborhood of Charlottesville, the sculpture is a line of pillow cases and underwear and dishrags and dresses stitched and strung together with multi-colored threads and glow-in-the-dark floss sewn into the jagged line of an EKG.

Life Line by Harriet Arthur detail 092015

Kids are running around it. Three women are sitting in lawn chairs turned toward the street. I stand and gaze gaze gaze at the white cotton floating in the warm September air.

Life Line by Harriet Arthur 092015


Building a Web site pushes all my “I-can’t-do-this-I’m-not-smart-enough” buttons. The slick SquareSpace TV ads say that their interface is easy and that you can have a beautiful site up and running in 15 minutes. I snap snarky things to the television. Those ads are either ludicrous bull-hockey or I am a total technological dummy since it took me more like 15 weeks. Either way, I’m annoyed.

I’m not a patient learner, I’m discovering, when it comes to my Web site. I know what I want it to look like and how I want it all to work and it makes me crazy with frustration when I can’t even figure out how to make the typeface blue.

Luckily, there is this fanglorious thing called The Help Desk. I can send a pleading email asking the most basic of questions and – BOOM! – a nice person writes me back and tells me how to do the ridiculously simple thing I’m stumped on.

As part of the Web Site Odyssey, I also want to integrate an email management program into the mix, so I plunge into the “easy-to-use” MailChimp system. I was instantly gritting my teeth and throwing things.

In a snit, I logged onto the MailChimp Help Chat and in moments Marcus The Help Chat Guy is typing a cheerful greeting and “how can I help you today?” I rant on and on about the painfully basic thing that I cannot figure out and Marcus slowly and patiently talks me through every step. At the end, our session looked something like this:

Susan: Well. Thank you so much for your help. I think I know what I’m doing now.

Marcus: You’re very welcome.

Susan: Sorry my questions were so basic.

Susan: Admit it. That was the lamest chat session on record.

Marcus: All chat is sacred and magical.

Susan: I officially love you.


At New Year’s gatherings and celebrations dressed in sparkly dresses and cuff links and funny hats, we ask,

What was your favorite moment of 2015?
What was a sweet, delicious snapshot of your year?

And it was

the hike up the Montana mountain
the concert at Red Rocks
the spa vacation
the extraordinary Christmas
the sunset swim in Superior

But home in sweatpants by the woodstove, I realize it actually was

How did your day go?
Would you like tea?
Thanks for unloading the dishwasher.
Dinner’s ready!
I’m doing a load of laundry. Want to throw anything in?

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