Archives for posts with tag: black coffee

So human. Of course. It’s bound to happen now and then. I think I’ve got a head cold. :-\

I’m doing my best to take care of myself. I crashed ludicrously early yesterday – couldn’t actually stay awake. My head was already stuffy. My body had started to ache all over. I gave up and went to bed. I woke once during the night – shortly after 1 am? I remember drinking cold water, thirsty, feeling sort of “dried out”, standing in the puddle of light from the open door to the refrigerator. I went back to bed. It was hard to wake when the alarm went off, and even half an hour later, I feel sort of clumsy and uncomfortable in my skin.

I’d hoped it was “allergies” (which I don’t actually have) but… no. Head cold. I can’t tell if I feel better, at all, this morning, or not. I sip iced coffee and iced water, in alternation. I don’t notice any particular difference, this morning. Cold is cold. One tastes a bit like… bitter garden soil. LOL I don’t really care about that, and just keep sipping one, then the other.

I’m not really complaining… head colds happen. Human beings can be fairly gross, and a lot of them don’t wash their damned hands, or cover their sneezes and coughs. I work in a call center-ish environment, one with an “open office” floor plan. Contagion spreads quickly, and there’s nearly always someone walking around sick. So, I work on self-care, and getting well, soon. There’s not much else to do about it, other than avoid spreading it around.

I finish my coffee, and my morning routines. I try to “get my head right” for the day ahead, and let go of wishing I were “just okay, for fuck’s sake” – since that does nothing to actually help. Another day ahead, full of potential. Time to get started on enjoying that as much as I am able to do so, today. ūüôā

Another new day begins, and as so many do, it begins well. My coffee is hot, tasty, and warming my hands between moments that require other purpose of them. Today I start the day without expectations, without clear needs to act upon, without urgency, a good beginning. I could say more… This morning I am not sure where the value in that lies, and I find myself filled with childlike eagerness, ready to eschew habit and practice in favor of scampering up to the glow of twinkly lights in the loft. The Holiday Loft. Home.

It was a very good weekend for love. My traveling partner and I connected closely and well, and enjoyed many hours of conversation and time together. It’s been lovely; I never get too much time in his very good company, and it is a rare moment that I wouldn’t prefer to be with him than apart. It’s not a clingy thing… We just like each other. ūüôā He is as much my friend as anything, and that is an exceptional foundation for love, as it turns out.¬† He is also someone who comes pretty close to ‘getting it’ with regard to my fondness for the winter holidays, and each year he finds some way to show that quality, unplanned, unscripted, and unexpected. He is the only partner I’ve had who ever embraced an opportunity to create that holiday magic for me, in a year it was doubtful we’d have the resources for any such thing. He knows things about love that most people only guess at.

I spent pleasant time in the company of another, too. Friends now, maybe at some point more… I like and value qualities he has, and so far he seems a worthy friend. I enjoy the way he enjoys me.¬† He delights in words – and I use a lot of them, it’s very promising.

My anxiety has been along for the ride all weekend; it comes and goes, and I endeavor to observe it without judgement and let it pass, content to be aware, and to recognize it is a feeling with many potential causes – including no obvious cause at all. I seemed to have reached a workable agreement with it; it will not linger and pester me, and I will not get involved with it more closely. lol¬† It’s enough, for now.

A pleasant enough start to the day, and to the week, and although I face the world with some reluctance this morning, it’s not because the world is so bad as much as because it is so nice right here.

Where will the day take me? Where does my path lead?

Where will the day take me? Where does my path lead?

Today is a good day to enjoy a quiet morning. Today is a good day for love. Today is a good day to savor the pleasures we hold dear, and to invest great will, and effort, in what matters most. Today is a good day to change the world.


I woke at 1:37 am to a loud bang. I returned to sleep. I woke again at 4:21 am for no reason that was obvious, and went back to sleep again. When I woke to the alarm, it was a bit as if I was never sleeping. My brain seemed pretty busy from about 1:37 am on until the morning alarm. Mostly playing mc chris’ “Tarantino” on repeat in the background of my consciousness. What’s that about? My back aches with the ‘everyday pain’ of arthritis. Yoga is difficult this morning. Sitting with good posture is difficult.

My coffee is neither creamy nor sweet.

This morning these are simply my experience, my observations. I feel pretty positive and basically ‘okay’ as an emotional being. It’s a nice change from Wednesday.

Wednesday, a bit like this.

Wednesday, a bit like this.

Yesterday wasn’t bad at all. It started well, ended comfortably, and aside from a distinct lack of physical comfort in my experience, the day proceeded well between the beginning and end. ¬†Yesterday’s high points? Love, and roses.

"Baby Love" rose [Scrivens, 1992] first to bloom in my garden this year.

“Baby Love” rose [Scrivens, 1992] first to bloom in my garden this year.

My very human experience has its ups and downs. This morning is still so new there’s no knowing. I meditate, sip coffee, study, do yoga, and prepare to face the world. I feel, for the moment, content and complete, in spite of my arthritis, in spite of pain, in spite of the headache, the bitterness of my coffee, or the slightly sick feeling of mornings. A little later than now, I’ll leave for work, probably have to remind myself to grab my cane before I go; it is an encumbrance as much as a help, and like I child I tend to abandon it anywhere I happen to sit down, if I happen to stand up with ease when I return to movement. lol

In spite of pain, and the unsteadiness of my knees lately, I still walk as much as I can. I’m still getting in about 5 miles a day, about 3 of that is commute, spread out over the morning and evening, and 2 miles for a walk midday. If I ‘give my knees a rest’ and allow myself to¬†succumb to the illusion that not using them will somehow put things right, I put myself at risk of gaining weight, pretty much immediately. I keep walking every day I can put weight on my knees and ankles at all. (I’m heavier than I’d like to be, and very much aware of the toll that is taking on my knees and ankles. Stabilizing my weight below 200 lbs is within reach, and I’ll be very happy to hit that benchmark.)

Still, the pain is what it is, and it is part of my experience. As much as I look forward to the beauty of spring, and a lovely walk on a nice day, there’s a bit of a ‘Little Mermaid” element to it; every step may be painful. Growth has often felt that way to me; every step painful, journey and destination worth the difficulty.

Pain is a shared experience. Most people have some. It’s odd to be in a group of people and observe that one person commenting on their experience of pain or discomfort tends to launch a round of compare/contrast statements, with some one-up-man-ship thrown in for flavor. I try to stay out of those, and regret it when I launch one. Few things result in feeling less heard about hurting than everyone else chiming in about how much they also hurt. Everyone wants to feel heard about pain. ¬†I’m not sure anyone ever does. ¬†Our own pain is so visceral. The pain of others tends to be far less so. ¬†I have been working on compassion first, sympathy, understanding – hearing that this human being speaking to me is hurting, and recognizing their experience, without sharing mine, even out of sympathy. (Allowing them to have their experience, feel nurtured and supported, and not diminished by my experience, or denied the opportunity to be individual. ) I don’t know that it does or does not ‘work’ any better than countering every tale of discomfort with one of my own, but it seems likely to be less annoying or dismissive.

It’s Friday. Looks like a quiet solo evening on the calendar.¬†I find myself hesitant to be at all excited about it. I’d rather not become invested in the outcome and have to deal with disappointment if life throws some changes in the mix. I’m eager¬†to spend some time on my writing and dive deeply into meditation without a timer, clock, or deadline on the other side. ¬†It’d be nice to look forward to doing that pain-free, but that’s unrealistic these days, so I don’t bother about the pain until it speaks up with enough force to be a real game-changer.

Friday. Black coffee. A backache. Spring flowers. A quiet morning. This is not only ‘not bad’ – it’s actually pretty good.

When I was wee I thought coffee was simply the most horrible thing grown ups had come up with for self-torture. Adulthood had to be fraught with peril for that foul black brew to be anything but deserved for some great wrong-doing, possibly to children. It was bitter. It left a bad taste in my mouth. It just wasn’t good. That’s where I left coffee until I joined the Army.

On a humid, hot, Alabama morning, dizzy with fatigue, and dehydration, I slouched over my breakfast tray in the mess hall – first Army breakfast, first morning of basic training; I just wanted a cool shower and to go back to bed. I was very certain that the whole ‘join the Army’ decision was a huge mistake. While¬†I sat there staring at my uneaten breakfast, toying with the scrambled eggs while I toyed with questions about my judgement as an adult, a drill sergeant’s shadow fell over me, and a white¬†ceramic mug entered my view. The burly man-voice in my ear followed the too-loud-for-this-to-be-real clack of ceramic mug to table with a hearty “drink this, soldier, you’re going to need it!” ¬†Hesitant to do anything to rouse the ire of a drill sergeant, I put the mug to my lips and took a taste. I know what I expected, I know what I got.

For years after that, I drank coffee – with sugar and half n half – like my body was 60% coffee, rather than water. lol I’ve quit once or twice, when my consumption got so ludicrous it had the potential to affect my health. I’ve spent months at a time on decaf, and always gone back to the real thing, eventually. ¬†Years ago I found my way to really good coffee: exceptional beans, from verified sources, well-roasted by local craftspeople, really fresh, ground-to-purpose just prior to use; really exceptional coffee is a very different experience from the Yuban and Folgers my Mom drank when I was a child. ¬†More time passed, and I eventually found my way to buying my own espresso machine; everyone in the house favored really good coffee, espresso beverages, and it was both a better value, and more consistent quality to have our own machine and learn to pull really good shots. Lattes every morning have been the thing, for a long time.

This morning I drink my coffee black.

This morning I drink my coffee black.

In this all adult household, more than one of us is off dairy, either temporarily, or for the long haul. ¬†It’s a recent thing. For me it is likely temporary, but this morning, I am drinking black coffee. It’s been a while since that has been my early morning practice. The taste of coffee is so different without the smooth ease and luxury of a little cream, the sweetness of a bit of sugar. ¬†On top of the simple change to unadorned blackness in my morning cup, we had also run out of our preferred morning beans (if you’re curious, that’s Ristretto Roaster’s ‘Beaumont Blend’ these days). ¬†A quick walk over to the local grocer, and our weekend coffee was assured, but they don’t carry Ristretto Roaster. I got a couple other roaster’s beans for the weekend, and the beans of Saturday and Sunday were by far more pleasant than the beans of this morning, which are strangely reminiscent of Army coffee in the 80s.

So…I write about coffee, this morning. The taste of it, the memories, the importance of the experience… It’ll be black coffee for a while, at least a week, maybe longer.

There are other exciting bits and pieces. My visit to The Grotto on Saturday was lovely, and I got some amazing pictures. It was mildly disappointing, too, because although it is a garden for meditation, contemplation, and even advertised that way, it was quite crowded with large-ish extended families visiting (probably due to the Easter weekend) and they were more boisterous, and louder, than I expected or found pleasant. Gangs of giggling high school girls taking selfies and sharing social network items vocally while they lagged their parents steps were distracting, and quarrelsome couples, or people with fussy children, took the potential for real stillness right out of the experience. It was still worth doing. I got some great pictures, and enjoyed exploring the features on my new camera phone.

Symbols, and messages, in the forest.

Symbols, and messages, in the forest.

It poured down rain the entire time I walked the paths and explored The Grotto. The Stations of the Cross are not my symbols, but the powerful arrangement and beautiful statuary were moving, even so.

There were also flowers that hinted at love...

There were also flowers that hinted at love…

And the soft light filtered through rain and clouds made some blossoms seem luminous.

And the soft light filtered through rain and clouds made some blossoms seem luminous.

Colors stood out from the lush greenery, seeming magical and more exotic than 'real life'.

Colors stood out from the lush greenery, seeming magical and more exotic than ‘real life’.

From a distance, even symbols that are not 'mine' might speak to me of things that matter.

From a distance, even symbols that are not ‘mine’ might speak to me of things that matter.

It was a lovely spring weekend. Flowers, fellowship, and love generally make for a fine weekend I think.

Simple flowers, a rainy day.

Simple flowers, a rainy day.

I took a lot of pictures. The lingering sensation for me is that the pictures somehow capture things I didn’t experience in-the-moment, that day. It is strange to look at them later, and feel those feelings that were missed in the din of chattering school girls, arguing in-laws, and assorted people who’d only come along ‘because it matters so much to her‘. I wonder for a moment, if the ‘her’ I heard referenced so often is a mother, a grandmother, an in-law, or… the woman for whom The Grotto exists, in the first place? She is of many faiths, many religions, many followers; she is woman, herself.

A powerful symbol of life, of love, of family; a woman and child.

A powerful symbol of life, of love, of family; a woman and child.

Well, Spring, that was lovely. Let’s do it again, sometime. ūüôā