Cold Coffee, Moving Forward…

I am sitting at my desk too fatigued to type, too tired to try. Neither my spirit nor my flesh are even willing, much less able. I know that if I do not write now, I will not write today. This is my only window to create.


In an essay called “On Living Behind Bars” Nancy Mairs writes:


My brain is frayed with the need to produce, but I am paralyzed…I feel pent up, desperate. My ability rides me. My lack of it tortures me. I am torn apart.


I can only second these sentiments.I desperately desire to make something. I look over the to-do list of projects and ideas I could work on but I cannot muster the motion. I cannot manage the movement.


The microwave beeps continuously, reminding me that the coffee gone cold and already reheated twice is ready once again, hoping that this third time will be the charm. I sit unmoved by its provocations. I cannot muster the motion. I cannot manage the movement. 


I wonder if I am the coffee cooled to room temperature through melancholy’s wanton disinterest.


I take a sip.


It is not as warm as I’d like but it will do.


I find a few words. They too are not as warm as I’d like but they will do.


Some days are like this. 


The coffee gets cold. We drink it anyway because we’ll take what we can get, and we let that be enough.


The “heat” wanes more than it waxes. The “spark” is only strong enough to flicker, and it fades before it ever becomes a flame.


It’s strenuous to scribble words into sentences. We write them anyway because we’ll take what we can get, and we let that be enough.


We worry so much about “moving forward”, about “making progress”, about “moving the needle”. Maybe any move, moves us forward. Maybe every movement makes progress.


Perhaps, if we are moving at all, then we are moving forward…

A Diagnosis of Ingratitude…

I pulled this clip from my interview with Daniel Midson-Short because I initially intended to include it in the blog I posted yesterday about the mutinous nature of gratitude but, I as listen to this conversation it feels so poignant that I think it deserves space enough to breathe on its own. 

Everywhere we look we are told that who we are, what we have, and what we do is not enough. We are told that we need more, we need be more, we need to do more. And all too often these sentiments are expressed most ardently within ourselves to ourselves.

Usually, the loudest voice in the room telling me that I’m not enough is my own. As a result, we become afflicted by the disease of what Daniel Midson-Short calls “comparison-itis”.

In fact, not long ago I sent out a tweet admitting that the trap of “comparison” is one that I fall into often, actually “often” may be an understatement.

These unhealthy comparisons not only render us unappreciative of our living particularities, they also leave us feeling ungrateful.

As a result we overlook our own anomalous nature. We take our lives, and almost everything within them, for granted but, gratitude is a protest against the autocracy of comparison. Instead, it is a celebration of the “overlooked”, a commemoration of the “taken for granted”.

All the metrics and measurements, though helpful at times, are imaginary and ultimately inconsequential.

“Moving the needle” simply means that we’re making the effort to make it work.

Gratitude says that wherever our feet land as we walk upon our path is a landmark. Every move we make within the process is a milestone.