Being where I am in my life right now, I over-think. Every human interaction, every event, every story begins to have theological significance. I begin thinking “well, will that preach?” and “do I file this story under ‘grace’ or ‘forgiveness’?” But sometimes the Laundry is just the Laundry.
Dr. Freud loved cigars – he started smoking at 24 years of age – he modeled himself after his father, who smoked until his death at age 81. His father, to young Sigmund, typlified the German/Austrian work ethic – a strong ethic of hard work and rigid self control. Sigmund stated smoking when he started his life’s work. For 50 years or longer, Dr. Freud’s live was encircled by the odor and haze of cigar smoke. He lived a highly structured life, rising early, seeing patients for most of the day, a daily visit to his local tobacco shop. Cirgars were Freud’s sacrament, his habit, his never-changing companion. Late in his life, Freud is quoted as saying, "[cigars have] served me for precisely fifty years as protection and a weapon in the combat of life...I owe to the cigar a great intensification of my capacity to work and a facilitation of my self-control." He called cigars arbeitsmittel or "workstuff," a play on words for the German for food or lebensmittel, “life stuff.”
So, for Freud, was a cigar just a cigar? Or was it an metaphor for his life? My life is surrounded by the Laundry – the mundane tasks of everyday life that seem to consume my time, yet must be done. Will the Laundry ever be just the Laundry? Who knows?
More information about Sigmund Freud and Cigars
* This entire essay is an example of my overthinking stuff. Off to buy more laundry soap.