my love of lattes. further explanation.

my friend claire once asked me why it is that i love coffee so much.

the ritual, i responded.

which is some of the answer, but not all of it, i suppose.

i can drink a small latte for hours. i can milk it (pun intended) for hours. i'll begin with it in the morning and it'll last me through the late afternoon.

i like the taste of coffee, but i don't love it.

there is a respect for the thing. for the knowledge that it's not nutrition--that that's not how it feeds me. i don't even particularly need the caffeine to wake me up in the morning.

it's self-care.

it's that first sip.

this morning that sip coupled coupled with the cool spring air made me think of vacation and the love of my friends and a few stolen weeks in sydney. it made me forget--if only for a moment--the clanging of the elevator repair to which i woke, the calls i need to make to secure an apartment, the work schedule that doesn't allow me to view the locations, the emails and messages that need to be sent out, and the near crippling stress which has snuck into my life over the last few weeks.

the coffee was a pause. the first sip, a moment of respite. a reminder that all will be well and i deserve to get up, dust myself off, and continue on. i am worth the fight.

all that in a morning coffee. not to bad, huh?

it's national coffee day!

who knew?! 

cheers to everyone from this here latte lover!

and just this week both the huffington post and the guardian wrote about a new study in which researchers suggest the caffeine in coffee might actually alter the brain chemistry in such a way as to ward off depression.

as someone who's been wildly depressed, is hopelessly devoted to coffee, and really has written quite a bit about how coffee is one of the things that keeps me happy...i think the articles (and perhaps the study too) miss the point...didn't expect that did you? 

we'll talk about it tomorrow. for now i'm off to enjoy a mid-afternoon pick-me-up. 

writing about the intangible.

mug and journal

sometimes the only thing that'll get me to crawl into bed at night is the thought of the morning latte that awaits the other side of sleep--the one from the coffee shop halfway up the hill.

the coffee i drink each morning--whether it's cafe bustelo in the green mug of my kitchen cabinet, or the latte from the corner cafe--it is tangible. i can hold it between my hands and feel it. it is real and right and mine.

but more than that it is a marker. some sort of touchstone--benchmark. a portal, really.

i pick up a cup of coffee and i remember when i first began to drink the stuff--sitting at the dark, circular kitchen table in an apartment on 104th. quietly sipping as i mustered both the courage and energy to face another day. to walk out the heavy door of 2B and get myself to school. morning after morning.

and with a warm cup of coffee between my hands i remember the time i went to australia--the first time i ever traveled out of the country by myself--halfway across the world. i remember having my first latte there and the revolution it was. heaven was that latte. sweet and earthy, unlike anything before. i remember those two weeks traveling alone. how i'd sit in cafes or outdoors and attempt to write. i remember the pendulum swing between good days and bearable days.

and i remember last summer in utah when sadness stole upon me once more. and how i couldn't breathe. i remember the two days i spent in park city with my parents. how each of those two mornings we began at a breakfast shop: bagel with egg and cheese, the new york times, and a medium-sized latte. and how those two days were a respite in which i felt safe and loved. and remembered, if only for a moment, that this passing, eclipsing cloud of a sadness would in fact do just that, pass. even if it took some time.

the coffee is tangible. but it's not the point. i know that. but it points to the point--helps me see just how far i've come. between the cups of coffee and the memories has been a life. each morning coffee contains each and every cup (day) that has come before it--allows me to pay homage to who i was, who i am, and the space between.

helps me make tangible what words will never fully do justice.

i was in love once. with a man. really and truly desperately in love. i would have followed him to the ends of the earth had he asked. my first love. and in all the time since i have carried the seeds of that love in me. the memory has filled me. and the knowledge that i am capable of a great and profound affection--the very kind that shifts our makeup and demands that we be more--well it has served as a bedrock of sorts.

i write about vespas and i write about lattes. i write about long-lashes and curly hair and broad shoulders because they are the tangible--they are the portal. but they are not the point. adventure and whimsy and absolute trust. willingness to fight, to disagree, to stand by the person even when you most disagree--those things are the point, i understand that. my parents will have been married for thirty-three years come this august. and trust me when i say they have modeled "the point" for me each and every day. i could not be prouder of them and their many accomplishments.

i am not so busy planning a life based on whimsical notions that i'm not grounded in the reality of what's unfolding before me. but i get to dream. and i get to play. and love is impossible to write about. it is abstract and profound and so beyond the understanding of this human language that i choose to write about the small, tangible things and then hope that in some way the metaphor translates--transcends.

i write about what many might consider insignificant because i know that in my own life--in my single life--in coming back from the edge of absolute sadness--those seemingly insignificant, ridiculous things like coffee and a new blouse and a window over-looking the hudson--well, my God, it has been those things that have made all the difference.