The foam is frothy, the lighting mellow, and I’ve got hours at a cafe waiting for my car to get fixed. The walk from the shop was crispy underfoot with ice around the city park. I stood for a moment with my mug from home, sipping and keeping my insides warm, while gazing at the solid pond, graceful metal bridge, and winding paths of evergreens. Turning away to continue my journey, I almost stepped in dogcrap.
And like the moment when you lift your head to the night sky, letting your eyes adjust to the darkness, seeing only a few stars, then dozens, hundreds, gazillions! – I noticed how much dogcrap was scattered all over the place. This is a college rental area, and the twenty-somethings that can barely remember to wash their hands decide getting a dog mid-semester is a great idea. And proceed to be crappy neighbors (literally).
I finished my tea from home, picking my way carefully towards the cafe. My chai latte was ordered and taken to an empty table in the cafe that is housed in a brick building that used to be the old phone company. The first thing I noticed as I sat down was a spot on the wall that looked like an elephant. I gazed into my red mug, wondering if any visions would materialize from the foam. Alas, it was just a bunch of tiny bubbles, randomly bursting, hiding the darker spicy drink underneath. Sometimes tea does not evoke a metaphor.
(I brought a Christmas craft with me to pass the time and be productive. That should take awhile, I hope. I also have the book “Quiet” to read. With no portable computer or hand-held device, I am usually one of the odd people in cafes reading or writing. Some day I will be able to buy a laptop, and then I’ll blend in with the crowd. But for now I shall be folding large sheets of shiny paper into origami boxes.)
As I continued to stare into my tea, recent life events bubbled up in my mind. It has been a rough few weeks, and yet I continue to get up in the morning, drink tea, then cross off and update the to-do list throughout the day. I try not to compare my stresses with the current events in the news- everything is about context, but I am reminded to keep it all in perspective.
My daughter is finishing her first traditional drawing class at college this semester, and for her perspective assignment, she chose to do it in pen and ink. This was a challenge to herself, a type A personality, to go with the flow (literally). If the ink flowed incorrectly, she had to figure out how to incorporate it into the finished art piece. The outcome was better than she had originally planned.
Perspective and dogcrap. I’m sure the bubbles in my tea explain it somehow (figuratively).
Move with intention.