Thursday, January 12, 2012

Making Coffee

Last night, Tim asked me if I would quit my job if I didn't have to work.  If he was making enough money, would I go on working at a job that I don't reeeeally love, just for the sake of working? 

I didn't have an answer right away.  There are so many variables to that equation, that I couldn't just definitively say "Yes!" or "No."  (More on this subject in the coming days...)

Then I have a morning like this one, when that answer becomes easy: where I sleep in, cuddling with my dog, slowly wake up to a cold house and make coffee.

making coffee
the floor is cold through socks
knee pressed against stove for balance
hand on hip, toe picking at the peeling vinyl tile
the flamingo stance, acceptable only in sweats

right hand joined to the kettle
the coffee grounds there for meditation
the filling, the sucking down seem metaphors for life
feeling whole, becoming empty

lift the filter, check the progress
could life fit through that one draining hole?
the grains clinging desperately to the sides
washed up, quickly losing flavor, turning bitter

one lump, two?
milk, cream, black to smooth tan
whatever the preference
it's still just a habit
(2006)


A very high priority on my goal list for 2012, was to write more.  Not necessarily a blog or a journal or anything specifically, just to write more.  I feel like I have been subtly influenced to do this for some time.  

I have always been jealous of my friend, Lee, who has kept a journal her entire life.  She's one of those amazing beings, who had the forethought to write herself a letter to read on her wedding day, back when she was like 16.  She also wrote one for her future husband, if I remember correctly.  When I was sixteen, I certainly wasn't thinking about myself on my wedding day!  And when we were roommates, I would flop on the bed and be falling asleep as she was dutifully chronicling her day, no matter how exhausted she might be.  

A few weeks ago, I helped a woman pick out stationary to give her friend.  They had both just finished reading this book together, about a man who wrote 365 thank you notes in one year.  I was really moved by his dedication, but more so that it had inspired these two women to correspond more.  Then a recent Facebook "discussion" I was having helped me clarify my thoughts on the act of writing. Nothing helps my fear that everything we put on the internet is in danger of being lost.  I don't want to be remembered by my status updates on Facebook, or my resume on LinkedIn.  You can't save text messages.  Maybe it's too much BBC drama-watching, of a romanticized period when people were so dedicated to personal correspondence, or that we know so much of early peoples by letters that were written and treasured long after.  All I know, is that I enjoy reading things I have written down in the past, not only because it reminds me of who I was, but also how I came to be who I am today.

Like this poem.  I wrote that the fall of my senior year at OBU.  In school, I was much better about writing down (usually immediately) things that inspired me or ideas that popped in my head.  This was one of those moments.  I think I was making coffee in our apartment, and between pours I jotted this down.  Someday, I hope one of my children or grandchildren reads this, and gains insight into who I was "way back then" in 2012.

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