Grey Days

It’s impossible to know how much weather affects you until you are being affected. We have had a run of monochromatic days here in Boulder, and it’s been a mood-determiner… yet has also created an environment conducive to movies, coffee shops, music, and beginning a summer job.

When I woke up today, it was cold – much colder than it’s been so far here. Down in the low 40s. I brought Lacey outside for her morning routine then fell gratefully back to sleep for another couple of hours. When I next woke up, I slowly made my way to the coffee-maker.

I had bought a postcard at Trident, a used books store and cafe Hannah, David and I visited a few days ago – as I sipped the first beautiful drops of my steaming brew, I wrote to my grandparents.

There’s something about writing letters to people you love, especially when you’re someplace new. It brings your experiences to your loved ones, and shows you are thinking of them even when you’re in the middle of life. It is meaningful, somehow even more so because it requires actual handwriting. It also steals a bit of home from whomever you’re writing to, and cements it in the new place.

Later, when I had downed a cup and a half of the nectar which coffee beans so kindly make possible, David and I went to the workout room. As I jogged I listened to a TED Talk that Hania, a good friend, sent me. It was about the Seven Deadly Sins. It told me four things:

It said that we are storytelling creatures.

Envy is desire.

Envy is a catalyst for self improvement and change.

Envy is how you find the best life for yourself – through comparison.

The talk did a lot to cause me to question my values in regard to the “sins” – isn’t that what they’re supposed to do? Make you question?

After work David and I brought Lacey and our roommate Brittany’s dog, Guinness, to a dog park. That was absolutely lovely… then we finally did what I’d been looking forward to all day: we biked to a coffee shop.

We returned to Trident, because – well – books and coffee. The combination is both fascinating and heartwarming, home and a world of new possibilities.IMG_1184

I continued with Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance while David coded.

I adore the act of reading… when I find that my face has gotten closer and closer to the page until I realize my neck has been aching for a while. At that point, I reach for my coffee, take a sip, and marvel at the flavor. I’ve begun drinking my coffee without sugar. Being able to taste the coffee, its mixture with the soy milk – it tastes like something someone created with their time, energy, and care. This is what Pirsig is talking about in Zen: Quality. Someone used Quality to create the coffee and now I want, more than anything, to experience it. I want part of it. I want to feel like I am the end of the tracks for something someone cared about.

I had reached the point where Pirsig lost me among his philosophical discussion, when someone walked over and sat at the table directly to my right (David’s left). After a lengthy conversation, I found his name was J. James. He’s an artist, a coder, a website builder… a human.

The coffee shop is perfect for conversations to be had, and shared.

The sound of chess pieces clinks in the background.


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