Next to Godliness: Finding the Sacred in Housekeeping
Explore the place where clean and holy meet—and chart a new course toward discovering sanctity.
"I've always sought solace in cleaning.... As my husband and I packed up our apartment and cleaned the profound dust of the Twin Towers from our books and pillows, we used this shared ritual as an opportunity to reflect and heal. As my neighbor once said, 'Cleaning house is my church.’"
—from the Introduction
Be they our kitchens after a meal or our communities after a crisis, we all face the times—and opportunities—when we must clean up. Through a beautiful, diverse and eclectic array of personal narratives, fiction, sacred texts and verse, this inspiring book offers new perspectives on the unique ways we can reach out for the Divine within the simple acts of washing the dishes, doing the laundry, making a home and more. Giving the process of cleaning house depth and resonance, these writings will speak to your heart and allow you to see beyond the task at hand and into a greater undertaking—to realize the sacred in all that we do.
From sweeping the home, to organizing the office, to cleaning up the more daunting “Big Messes” in our communities, this engaging book touches upon every facet of our lives.
Louisa May Alcott • Gaston Bachelard • James Baldwin • Andrea Barrett • Mary Catherine Bateson • Jeannette Batz • Sue Bender • Stephen Vincent Benét • Henri Bosco • Sarah Ban Breathnach • Gwendolyn Brooks • Brother Lawrence • Dominique Browning • Yitzhak Buxbaum • Lydia Maria Child • Joan Chittister • Billy Collins • Amiya Corbin • John Crawford • Dorothy Day • Shoghi Effendi • Rick Fields • Sir James George Frazer • Tess Gallagher • Mahatma Gandhi • Allen Ginsberg • Bernard Glassman • Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb • Tenzin Gyatso • Thich Nhat Hanh • Nathaniel Hawthorne • Homer • Ashley Isaacson • Martin Luther King, Jr • Dorianne Laux • Ursula K. Le Guin • Eric Leigh • Jarvis Jay Masters • Cheryl Mendelson • Mother Teresa • Pablo Neruda • Marsha Norman • Gunilla Norris • Kathleen Norris • Kakuzo Okakura • Marc Poirier • Louise Rafkin • Otagaki Rengetsu • Rainer Maria Rilke • Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche • Marilynne Robinson • Taigu Ryokan • Hannah Whitall Smith • Starhawk • Henry David Thoreau • Gary Thorp • Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe • Booker T. Washington • Jessamyn West • Richard Wilbur • Virginia Woolf • Anzia Yezierska