Seattle, Washington, United States
For those who love coffee, poetry, art, or stories - stay. Have a cup with us.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Fresh Start

I would like to start off with a confession this week, Coffee Lovers. This last Sunday was the first time I have ever seriously considered quitting Stronger Coffee. For a moment, I just couldn't see the point. It was a sad moment. And then I decided I would give it one more go and I wrote a Sunday Sip inquiring as to your thoughts and suggestions.

I got one response (such is life), but it was a very, very good response. My ever-loyal, ever-wonderful friend Shreya Tewari suggested I begin to use the artwork, music, photography, and other such gems of those around me in my blog.

I was taken aback by the genius of the idea. And that is what I am going to start doing.

So, I guess today is kind of a new beginning. It is the 61st post of Stronger Coffee and I'm going to take this moment to reflect on what this 61st entry will mean.

It's time for a change. I can't just write to all of you anymore without involving you. If you read Stronger Coffee and you can sing, or you can paint, or you can snap beautiful photos, or you can write poetry - I want to read that and then show that to the world. We are a community. And this is a community revival.

I asked Shreya to give me some pictures which symbolize new birth (sunsets, flowers, etc). And she provided me with fourteen gorgeous choices. The photographs in this entry are entirely hers, and I thought it was only natural to show case such a brilliant photographer in my first shared entry, especially because all of this was her idea. Thank you, Shreya.

But now - it's time for what you all logged on for: Why am I writing this week? I think that we, as human beings, take too little time for ourselves. We seem to think that busy means happy. Americans are especially affected by this mindset. Elizabeth Gilbert is of the mind that Americans live their 70-year lives without experiencing any kind of real pleasure. We push and we drive and we try too hard to get everything right on the first try.

The fact of the matter is that we are not that perfect. And we are not that strong. Nothing can be started that can't be restarted. Nothing can be made that can't be un-made. Buddhists hold that nothing is permanent, and that neither objects nor people can remain constant. They are right. We are in a state of flux, no matter what we want to tell ourselves.
But sometimes we have to put a stop to the flux, an end to the immortal push of mankind, and just restart. We have to recognize a sunrise for ourselves, a new low-tide, a flower bud just blooming. The beauty of this is that it is your choice when you hit RESET, and only you have to know about it. Our lives were not meant to be lived in one fell swoop. They are supposed to be a cacophony of laughter at mistakes made, tears shed, and new days faced with a whole new attitude.

And that means if the java isn't right on the first go around, you can always chuckle and brew it again.

May your coffee be strong, your passions electric, and your laughter easy.

Photography by
Shreya Tewari (Pictured Here)


  1. Michael, this is so perfectly written and I am so beyond honored to have gotten to be a part of it! I am so honored that you included my photographs and gave me so much credit! You are unfathomably incredible and I am so glad to have you as a friend! And I definitely hope readers send stuff in, I'm excited for even more awesomeness to come on this most wonderful blog!! :D

  2. Amazing - both the photographs and the writing!

  3. I love all of Shreya's pictures, but in my personal opinion I think that some of the best pictures of new beginings are of old friends, those people who make our lives interesting and new and wonderful every day. That sometimes we dont need to press reset but just stop and look and all the people we are surrounded with. When I have moments of unhappyness, looking at a picture of me and my friends laughing, trying new things, and sharing new experiences is what pulls me out of the slump. We live life in moments, not minutes