Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Clouds in my coffee

A while back my friend George and I went to brunch at the Globe here in Athens. They have clear coffee cups, and so when I poured milk in my coffee I had a good view of the little fractal Brownian motion dance that coffee and milk do.

I said, "Ooo, look! Swirlies!"

Almost the first thing that another friend, Mark, said to me...when we met lo these many years ago...was that I seemed like I was tripping without the drugs.

I assume he meant that I'm the kind of person who will pour milk in her coffee and go "Ooo, look! Swirlies!"

I also like to go on and on about things I find Significant and Terribly Interesting, and laugh at random shit because sometimes the world just strikes me as absolutely fucking hilarious. I'm fine with that. Think of all the time, money, and trouble I save not dropping acid.

What bothers me, though, is that 1) people don't allow themselves to be that open or delighted with the world unless they have chemical intervention, and 2) this kind of behavior is considered strange or "off." If you laugh at the world because it's funny or you're in love with it because it's beautiful, you're not, I don't know, serious or adult enough or something. As if grimness were a virtue.

How can you not be in love with the world? The motion of a bird as it flies, or the way things smell at different times of year, all the details of the way a tree looks from the rough grey and black texture of its bark to the rhythm and pattern of leaves on branches, clouds in the depths of air and the color of the light....or the way milk swirls in elegant slow motion when poured into coffee. Those things are offered all the time, not even for the asking...they're just there, because they are. All around you every day is a wonderment of delight.

It's not that I don't know about the bad stuff. I've lived through some of the bad stuff, myself, and I have been wretched and angry and sad. That's why I'm so attentive to the glory in everyday things; there have been times when that is what saved me from despair.

Do you have so little sorrow in your life that you don't need beauty? Is your life so full of joy already that you have to shut some of it out? Do you think if you squander happiness that you'll run out, or that you're supposed to save it up for important occasions? I assure you that it doesn't work that way.

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