Gaston Bachelard on the Meditative Magic of Housework

In his timeless 1957 classic The Poetics of Space, French philosopher Gaston Bachelard – one of the most luminous yet underappreciated minds of the twentieth century – explores the meditative magic of housework and writes:

How can housework be made into a creative activity?

The minute we apply a glimmer of consciousness to a mechanical gesture, or practice phenomenology while polishing a piece of old furniture, we sense new impressions come into being beneath this familiar domestic duty. For consciousness rejuvenates everything, giving a quality of beginning to the most everyday actions.


Objects that are cherished in this way really are born of an intimate light, and they attain to a higher degree of reality than indifferent objects...

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