Listening Post: a simple prescription

I put the coffee pot on at 3 pm. That’s my court of last resort on Thursday when the afternoon is racing by, and I still haven’t got my writing done. Just the smell of it makes me feel a little smarter. The waves of labor have been washing over the seawall lately. Fundraiser is always a madhouse, then the superstorm of news about the superstorm, and now the last few days of a more than slightly maniacal quadrennial election. It’s enough to bust the zen right off a guy.

But the ritual of coffee is one of life’s great restoratives. Inhaling the aroma, pouring it out in a thick-walled mug, doctoring it to taste, taking it back to the desk, wrapping it in both hands for warmth, taking the first sip, and exhale–ahhh. It should have its own Sanskrit name–cafenasana. You just don’t want to do too many repetitions too quickly.

For the moment, I feel a lot better. I consider that I could be Bill, jiggering with code to fix all the stuff he built to spec for NCPR on insane deadlines with constant interruption. Or I could be one of the news folks, who have been wearing out their shoes, cars and voices to feed the daily beast. I consider that I could be living in New York, wandering cold in the dark, looking for a place to plug in my phone and get a hot slice of pizza. Or I could be a campaign worker, flogging my brain for one last thing that will garner a vote, and looking forward to the moment of truth with vast trepidation.

It’s nice to know that in a world filled with challenge, division, exhaustion and disaster, there is this one great unifying experience we can all cling to–a well-timed and powerful jolt of joe.

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One Response to “Listening Post: a simple prescription”

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  1. Anne Burnham says:

    Hi Dale,

    MY 80 year old friend Sara, who is a zen robe maker among other things, says she no longer sits every day, but she does do the coffee meditation every morning. I am going to try to send you a picture of her doing it with our 2 dogs.

    Also, did you ever make a comprehensive list of current places folks can go to dance?

    Anne