“Out Damned Spot Out.”

Lady Macbeth

I guess I had Shakespeare on my mind this morning when I was doing the laundry. As I poured bleach into the whites, I thought about Lady Macbeth’s totally unrelated to my actual situation plea “out damned spot out.”

I have had enough of political grief lately, so my thoughts didn’t go too far thinking about Trump’s ideas of using bleach to kill covid, nor about those people who drank it for that reason. Clorox even had to warn adults not to drink bleach. Oops, I guess they went that way for too long. Then I remembered how hard it was to even buy bleach and now how its price has skyrocketed. That was discouraging too.

Then I let the smell of bleach take me to better times. I learned to swim in a chlorinated cold water indoor pool. My first association with smelling like bleach was when I finally got out of that nightmare and put on dry clothes. The smell lingered and reminded me of how much I hated learning to swim. That wasn’t any more encouraging!

But wait. I suddenly remembered a long ago love who swam laps every morning. He always smelled sweetly of bleach. Finally I had found a good free association!

What has any of this to do with Lady Macbeth? Very little as it turns out, but it does give you an unasked for peek into my covid brain.

26 thoughts on ““Out Damned Spot Out.”

    1. And when Macbeth says life is a tale told by an idiot…signifying nothing, of course, it’s true for him. He just murdered quite a few people, including friends, and lost his wife due to his own ambition (or hers). So sure, life is meaningless. He doesn’t have what makes life meaningful—friends and family and love.

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  1. The senses bring out our most powerful memories. Bleach included! At school we give children a ‘sensory rich diet’. My smelling bleach recall is 1985 when hubby used a bleach spray to kill all the mold in our stone walled basement with a dirt floor. 1800’s era house. Basement mold was an issue. Ah, the memories! 🙂 And the fumes burned his lungs.

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  2. ‘Smell memories’ are strong ones indeed. The smell of wax polish takes me straight back to 1957, being looked after by my grandmother when my mum was at work. She used the tin of polish to clean her furniture by rubbing it in with her fingers, and her hands smelled of that polish for the rest of the day.
    Best wishes, Pete.

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  3. We discovered a grape vine on our property much in need of care. Hubby picked the handful of grapes and I can smell them as soon as I walk into the kitchen. He cannot smell them. I am whisked back to my childhood – perhaps a post for later today.

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  4. Oh man – mine was an outdoor pool, in Vermont in early summer (and also unheated) so I feel your pain and definitely recall the smelling like bleach and relieved to be out.

    Funny you mention Macbeth as on Sunday I did a one-off class in “Improvised Shakespeare” so I guess it’s in the Zeitgeist.

    Finally – you’ll be happy to know: Last Friday I received notification that my ballot was available, and so off I went. Overseas Missouri voters can vote fully online so my ballot is not only marked, it’s cast. One down, a few dozen million more to go.

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