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The cold in early spring

Thursday 3/23/23

I was leaving the cafe yesterday and normally would have turned home at that time. I am not being as productive as I need to be, when I need to be more productive than I ever have been. I have a good sense of my stores. They are unrivaled. They cannot be rivaled. But I am working at twenty percent capacity, if that, when I must be over ninety. Sometimes I am at five percent. It is because of the size and scope of those stores, that no one would think I'm at five percent, which would translate to someone else's 1000%. I must find my energy and a rhythm that even tide and time cannot touch.


I felt the cold more than usual, and it was not a considerable cold. I looked at people around me, who seemed to be less cold than I was. There are these early days of spring, when one will encounter the occasional bug who has got going early to its credit, and the first few flowers in spots where no flowers have been for some months. Sometimes it's a lone flower. You can overestimate the warmth. The sun is also different now. It's out longer, but that doesn't mean it warms the day. The temperature was probably in the low forties. But it was bright. I pulled my sweatshirt hood up over my hat, and put on my gloves, and instead of going home I turned and walked to Dunkin' Donuts, to get a hot black coffee (I had an iced green tea--I was thirsty from running the stairs earlier--at the cafe while doing my Civil War reading).


The other day when I was at Starbucks, also doing my Civil War reading, a girl came in from the school that is on my street. She had on the uniform as the students there do. Sometime after three o'clock you start seeing these kids at the Starbucks. This girl might have been maybe in sixth or seventh grade. Somewhere in there. She went up to the register where there was no line and she ordered a hot chocolate. But it wasn't that she ordered a hot chocolate--it was how she ordered it.


Society has devolved so much that you rarely even seen anyone who can conduct themselves properly. Whether that's the meathead at the register saying he'll "do" a latte--so many people favor this term--or the woman with the two-inch fingernails who is surly to staff.


But this girl said, "May I please have a tall hot chocolate, but without any whip cream." She was quite clear-eyed. Had her head up. No hesitation. Not prissy either. She came across as very natural, confident, smart. She went around the corner and waited for her drink, and exchanged some remarks with the barista that I couldn't make out, which she instigated. It was plain how secure she was in herself. Not in some boastful way. A calm, peaceful way.


As she was leaving, she stopped at a table where there was another girl, also from her school. She said something to her, and then the girl to whom she was speaking got up and went to the bar to pick up some kind of iced chocolate drink that the other girl had ordered for her, which she must have known that she liked. I don't think they were friends. It was more like the one girl was being nice, or liked that other girl, or wanted to thank her for something she had done. It was all just very natural. A kindness bestowed or gratitude expressed.


I'm sure no one else noticed, but it made me feel good. That kind of thing makes me feel good. It all sounds so simple in one way, and yet there's so little of what I just described that's in the world.


A friend of mine used to play hockey. The other day he took his little girl and her friend to the rink to go skating. My friend sent me some video of the event, because I know he wanted me to see that he was out there zipping around a rink again. I'm sure that was his reason. But in the video you hear him telling each of the girls what a great job they're doing. He sounded really kind and supportive. He sounded like a great dad who also cared much about his daughter's friendship and her friend. So I texted him and commented on the kid that he nearly took out as he was zipping around the rink, and to tell him that he was a really good guy.


When a person inspires themselves, they've figured out a large part of their side of life. I will often only have to think of my work and a life force teems within me, becomes me because it is me, and I am inspired. I find inspiration in myself for how to be and why I must be that way. I find inspiration to do the right thing within myself, no matter how hard that right thing might be. I find inspiration to be brave within myself. And when I look to the work, when I think about the work, when I consider what is in the work and what the work is, it's like I find every form of inspiration that is possible.


None of this prevents me from seeing and absorbing the world in ways that others do not. My inspiration is not limited. But my inspiration is what it is because of how I am and what I have become; what lives in me, what passes through me, and becomes a part of me.



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