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Thursday, December 22, 2011

playing with the paper

Well, Coffee Lovers, we've finally made it. We are at that time of year that, depending on your age and tolerance for interpersonal conflict, you either love or dread. Most of us feel a dichotomy of emotion in this week. But, regardless of your emotions toward the Holidays, you are certainly under a considerable amount of stress as the snow (or lack thereof) piles up on your driveway and the in-laws shuttle across the threshold.

It really is, and I'm not being facetious, the most important time of year. It is that time when, in the midst of madness and nation-wide Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, we learn to be peaceful.

The discrepancy between the number of times a day that I think about peace and the number of times that I actually say the word highly amuses me. I've been genuinely reflective in the past few weeks, much more settled into myself. And as that has happened, as the winter has broken her shards of lovely play-glass upon the world, I've seen something very important: we yearn for equilibrium, balance, stasis...but we never vocalize that desire! Hell, we never even act on that desire. We live in constant motion. Even our elevators travel faster than they used to. But we do not speak out against it. We just let is consume us, until we are even thinking faster than is necessary.

I know I sound preachy, but I'm a preachy person. I'm sure I'd do the Dalai Lama proud (he's preachy, too). But think about it. What do we associate the Holiday Season with? Family and fun, sure. But also: shopping malls, gift receipts, lines, checking watches, new recipes, old recipes, finding the old recipes, plane tickets and the subsequent rushing through airports, spending money and then worrying about money. . .the list goes on. I'm sure you've all thought about it quite a few times this week and last week, and maybe even last month.

I wonder what would happen if we treated this month of December like we used to when we were children. Everything was brightly colored and sparkling, and so we made ourselves brightly colored and we sparkled in every moment. We ran outside, kicking up snow until our feet, like our cheeks and noses, were bright red. We'd come running inside, plop down by the roaring orange fire and drink rich brown coco, and we didn't worry. We let someone else do the worrying for us. When we gave gifts we didn't worry about how much we'd spent or whether it would actually get used. We just gave it, and accepted the obligatory kiss on our little cheeks. Then we scampered off.

Children are not caught up in the drama of the season. Case-in-point? They play with the paper more than the presents.

I think I'd like to spend this Holiday bright like that, too.

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

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