A few words from my journal, a new photography class that has inspired a new way of looking through my familiar lens, and a trip to the Sunday farmer's market that sent us home with winter citrus, locally roasted coffee beans, and decadent pastries amidst the produce. Instead of showing you around my studio this week it felt most appropriate to show you around my kitchen, to dust off the poetry parts of my very tired brain, to spend a few moments thinking and writing about some of my favorite ordinary things: coffee and pastries and tea.
Some cultures honor an afternoon tea, a post-lunch pastry, an afternoon nap but we Americans tend to rush past this too. We might leave the office to grab a cup of coffee but we'll probably walk back to our desks with the hot paper cup in hand and set it aside the computer monitor as we mightily return to email. I know I did. But every once in awhile there is a moment. A fresh bag of clementines from the farmer's market, a hot pot of water singing its siren full of steam, a metal tin of tea, a fresh bag of coffee beans, a few pastries unwrapped on the cutting board.
And sometimes these moments extend to a favorite magazine. A dogeared book. A knitting project waiting patiently by the couch. And when these moments come, we must embrace them. We must take them into our hearts. Into our lungs. Into the very cells of our bloodstreams and insist they hover there. We must make them internal. We must savor. We must sit. We must notice our own breath inhaling and exhaling over and over again. The light spilling through the sheer curtains. The sweet almond paste, the bitter coffee bean, the burst of winter citrus and the color of the peeled rind.
And in our condensed moment of bliss the little ones will still race their cars and trucks loudly over the tiled floor and our spouses might bury their tired faces in their smart phones and laptops but we must accept these details too. A chance to sit still in the midst of so much moving around and to insist that even this movement can take pause. Not meant to push or pull or shove against the moment before or the one that will inevitably follow. It is not meant to be justified with deadlines, rationalized with guilt, or explained away in duty and responsibility.
It is meant to be what it is--one fleeting moment in the midst of a busy life. A reflection. A quietude. A remembering of self. A re-patterning of the brain so we might see something more clearly when the moment ends and we move into the next one. Inspired by an almond croissant and cup of tea the way some are inspired by landscape or abstract shapes or the sound of rain on tin--we must honor these moments out of necessity. Tuck them into our wrinkled shirt pockets. Carve space for their arrival like water softens stone.