The Long Walk to Work

Sifting through my earliest memories of time spent with my mother, I found this little gem and the life lessons reflected to me. A lesson of love, given freely to two little gremlins with apparent personality disorders (at the time)…

It’s a typical Monday morning in the 90’s. My eight year old twin and I had come to the conclusion that we weren’t going to school that day. It didn’t really matter what we did, we just weren’t in the mood for that prison camp. Our mother, already late for work and panicking about our decision, made up her mind to take us to work and deal with the situation from there. To this day, I respect the single mothers who, despite the consequences, still take their children to work to make sure they’re safe. Oblivious to our mother’s predicament, my brother and I were ecstatic. We were going on an excursion to town. How exciting!

Leaving the house and shutting the gate behind us, the lock snapped closed, signalling the end of the security of home. We were on the open road, ready for adventure. We stepped onto that road and I remembered that we still had to make our way to the bus stop, just over a kilometre away. The lengthy stretch ahead seemed to mock my resolution to skip being driven to school by my grandfather earlier that morning. My mother’s curt voice snapped me out of developing tantrum and her perfume reminded me that while I was with her, I was safe. I was getting what I wanted, I was spending time with my mother.

After what felt like hours in the desert sun (actually 5 minutes in the shade of a tree-lined suburban road), a car hooted loudly behind us and our mother herded us off the road as it sped by. Watching the tail lights shrinking in the distance, a wave of frustration and anger overwhelmed me as I wondered why I had to mutilate my poor feet and tire my legs walking when others had cars. Not wanting to upset my mother (and achieving exactly that), I took my frustrations out on my brother. The tedium of the walk had bored me enough to forget that I was supposed to be having fun. Paying no attention to us, my mother kept her hurried pace and soon, we realised that we were being left behind. Setting aside our differences for the moment, we united to make sure that we weren’t forgotten. We believed her when she said “I’ll leave you here in the middle of the road.”…when we finally made it to the bus stop, my brother remembered that he had a bone to pick with me (and the world), so he continued the saga…but that’s not my story to tell.

The lessons from Gremlin Avenue were always there but only with years of hindsight am I able to begin comprehending their relevance to my life today. My mother’s optimism in taking us to work, knowing her decision would be frowned upon, is what revealed her heroism to my brother and I. My mother’s commitment to her responsibilities as a parent and to her contract at work forced her to make grim sacrifices but she persevered, just like we did with our short legs on Gremlin Avenue. “Keep moving forward”, a phrase introduced to me years later but demonstrated long before I understood the concept.
My mother’s humble reaction to the neighbours passing us taught me that I had no right to begrudge people for having something that I didn’t. On this planet, I’m only entitled to her love (considering my mood swings, even that’s pushing it). My mother forgave our selfishness, our inability to grasp the consequences of our actions quelled her anger and as she proudly introduced is to her colleagues who fawned over us, my brother and I turned into cupid’s little helpers. Of course, she was also making arrangements to get us the hell out of there before we got bored and revealed the reason we were known as gremlins at home.

The long walk to work was worth all the blood (not my story to tell…), sweat and tears.

I love you mummy.

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Falling in love

You’ll notice the feeling of weightlessness
Before admitting to the senselessness
The unending gravity of the situation
Beckons in the manner of an incantation
Pain is pleasure, sublime
Pleasure is pain, in time

Rest assured, this is not the end
Gardens and Orchards, we have yet to tend
Living as man in a forgotten Eden
Dreaming as Gods, in a place still hidden
Love becomes the great equaliser
Desire remains a constant stabiliser

Heaven is a home, forbidden
Star-lit skies are left, unridden
Angels watch in silence for a sound
In their wounded hearts, nightmares hound
Paradise may be lost but love is gained
Pandora did say, all is feigned

The subconscious

With our advanced technology, our flights to the moon and back, exploring our solar system and observing long dead stars. With our certainties regarding God within religion and philosophies giving birth to entire civilizations. With our riches whether we deem those to be diamonds and fast cars or grandchildren and time to read some books. With everything we’ve achieved and everything we’ve fought for, human rights, land, freedom of speech, Kings, Queens, emperors and of course, religion. We still don’t know what on earth we’re doing here.

As I read more material and discover new ideologies I can only adapt my thinking as best as I can with the most recent and compelling new piece of information. Sometimes, I have an answer that I’m so certain of, I know I have to get everyone else to see it. Then it’s shattered or at least put aside by a new realization or experience. We don’t know who we are or what we are, we have ideas but they’re just ideas.

One idea that’s stuck around for a very long time is that we are One. We are a unit that has been divided and spread over time and space. This idea seems to make sense, everyone seems to think so. Sometimes one of those inspirational quotes actually get into my head and plays with my thoughts. The one that’s given me a new certainty was the saying “Everything around you is a reflection of yourself”

I’ll pause for a second and go back. I have to mention that through this journey I’ve been on, I’ve been getting to know myself. Getting to know my fears and loves. My desires and peeves. I’ve been getting to know my own mind basically. The thing is, the more I understand my mind, the more I pay attention to my subconscious, the more I understand the concept of oneness. This leads us back to the subconscious, we’ve been told that we’re all from the same consciousness. This piece of information is common knowledge. The only thing that separates us is the material world. If that’s the case, then essentially, each person you speak to is part of the same mind as you. A part of your mind that you don’t have direct access to. In each of us, that would be our subconscious. For a few hours I toyed with the idea of solipsism, I saw vehement arguments against it. Then I remembered that the imagination isn’t the subconscious. They’re very different concepts.

Another saying… “Everything in life is a lesson” …if you look at human existence from the perspective of a single entity, each and every single trial and tribulation has taught us something. As a single entity, we are complete in our experiences and abilities. As a single entity, we are, essentially, God.

My Experience

I always do this, I get so lost in my life that I forget to keep track of my experiences. This is the reason I started this blog, more for me than for anyone else. See, I know what I like and if I don’t, I’m learning and it’s such a long process that I forget, the same way people need to write down incredible recipes in order to remember them: I guess you could say that this blog will be kind of like a recipe for the perfect coffee(and other addictions) experience.

Like a recipe, there are so many different variations, so many different ways of making the same thing and not everything will appeal to everyone. Sometimes different people add to it and make it better or make it worse, whatever you’re looking for really. I hope that this blog can evolve in the same way, in that I can share my experience and in case I missed anything, people can add to it(in whatever way they wish) and we can make it better, together. I don’t care if that sounds hippie(hippie isn’t even a bad thing)

This is the format I plan on having, I might have to modify it as I work with it but I’m going to find my perfect place for my own coffee experience. I will go to places that happen to pop up as I walk and I’ll plan some visits as well. I plan on going to cafes mostly, trying out there coffee, figuring out whether I like it or not and why. This includes everything about the cafe. Again, this is why I say that each persons experience will be different so I do hope I get feedback so I don’t miss out on too much of the good stuff because I can only try to be unbiased but I’m human, if my waiter upsets me then of course I’ll hold the place responsible. I will start off with the name of the place I’m visiting and tag in under the category; My Experience. To make it easier, I’ll start off with ‘ME:’ for example, ‘ME: Starbucks’

So lets begin!!!

Some like it hot…

Hey! Ok so I’m back…I’ve been reconciling alternate realities in my head and I’m back to share my reality of my mouth and stomach as it pertains to coffee 🙂

To begin, I have to be honest, I never follow directions, like when I cook. Sure I follow the guidelines but I hate being tied down. I don’t think recipes and methods should be followed diligently if you know what you love then you should just make it. You know the basic laws of what to mix and what not, use them. Unless you want a specific flavour that only the recipe can help with…but you’d eventually get bored, well I would. Anyway, so today, I’m going to follow the directions that come with this new coffee I have. Usually, I don’t measure my coffee, I just spoon what looks like a decent amount of coffee into my french press and let the magic happen. Ok no wait, I’m going to go about this as scientifically as I can. Then measure the results in an unbiased fashion. So today I’ll have it as I normally do, grade it then in the next post, I’ll do the same according to directions.

Today is particularly important to me because I get to try a different brand. It’s called Peet’s, I’m making a break from Starbucks for  a bit. I don’t want to limit myself. So as in the picture you can see how much I usually put. Admittedly, I go overboard sometimes but I want to make sure I get that rich, color. That obsidian black that gores into your soul when you look at it brewing. I love it. I’m looking at it now and I feel like all the depths of the ocean can be encapsulated in that colour and it’s secrets revealed in the act of drinking it(can you tell that I love coffee?)

I pour water, not directly onto the coffee(I don’t want to burn it) but against the side of the glass and I tilt the press as it fills up. I use water that’s on the verge of boiling, I imagine a dance of particles almost reaching it’s crescendo and then stopped and all it’s energy being redirected into extracting those secrets of the void. Everything I do is in anticipation of the taste and act of drinking the coffee. I wait, with bated breath as I gently presses the knob down, but only halfway so that some of the coffee continues it’s extraction for as long as possible(this is my reasoning) and I watch the liquid change it’s colour, getting slightly lighter as I pour it but once again regaining it’s composure as it fills up my cup with it’s life. It smells like the dirt of a newly overturned garden bed. Fresh, ripe and virile. As I taste it, it scalds my tongue a little but somehow, it doesn’t matter, the sensations give a different depth to the experience and the crescendo that didn’t play out when the water didn’t boil reaches absolution in that moment. As soon as it comes, it’s gone again and I’m back in my body and I can hear the traffic outside the window. Time for another sip…and another

Now all that’s left is the aftershock(caffeine kick) and my day is complete

Oh sorry, I forgot to be scientific about it, I guess I’ll just have to be extra critical about it when I measure it. Oh well…I have about a liter of coffee that needs my attention, bye for now