I’ve been putting cinnamon in my coffee. Partly inspired by a combination of a detailed recollection from Kate Mulgrew’s How to Forget, and a choice episode from the television show Weeds (when the Botwins go to the state fair and Silas and Andy smoke a joint Silas rolled with cinnamon) – ANYWAY. Last time I made it, I put in too much and the coffee was overly bitter. This morning though, it’s not too bad. I just shook out a little bit onto the grounds before brewing. I drink my coffee black – like Lorelai Gilmore, like Janeway. And I remember exactly when I started drinking it black:
Four years ago, about a week or two after my grandmother passed away, I had a trip planned to California to visit a friend. I was staying at his place for the week, and every morning he would wake up before me to go to the local coffee shop, and bring back either an iced coffee or iced tea for me (which was incredibly sweet and kind of him). At that time, I usually would take my coffee with non-dairy milk (soy or almond), and maybe a Sweet n’ Low (although, I might have cut that out of my diet by this point. I felt like it was numbing my taste buds after awhile). So the first morning of my stay, my friend brought my coffee order to me as I had requested. But the following morning, he had either forgotten how I took it or had brought it back black on purpose. I remember him saying some along the lines of, “You know, it’s better for you black. And cold brew is actually meant to be enjoyed black so you get the full flavor profile of the coffee.” I acquiesced; He was my friend, he was hosting me and paying for me. I wasn’t going to complain about a little deviation in my coffee order. So I thanked him, accepted it, and began to drink it. Since that moment, black coffee grew on me and ultimately became my preferred way of drinking it. And there are so many perks – More caffeine per cup, less waiting for my order to be ready at coffee shops, and no calories. The flavor profile has grown on me. And I can’t help but think, that similar to straight whiskey, it is the drink of women who have known pain; who have experienced the complexities of Life. This bitter companion is the bringer of comfort, inspiring confidence. It does not lie. It is not sweet. It is not an idealist, but a realist. It will not deceive you. And every time I drink it, I am reminded of this California memory, freshly grieving my grandmother’s death while in a new state with a new friend. And how my own death and rebirth cycle was so deep and profound to me then, happening in real time. …I’ve been doing a lot of self-reflection lately – but then again, when am I not?
Last night I went to a late-ish yoga class – the last one of the day. And my teacher (who is one of my favorites) started the class by talking about the different reasons why we start yoga. She noted that everyone’s reasons are usually different. For me (aside from the fact that my dad had been practicing for many years and I have close friend who is a teacher), I think I saw it as a way to decrease my anxiety while simultaneously focusing on strengthening my dough-like body. It also was something I always wanted to do, but could never quite get going on it. I was too anxious, too scared, felt like I wouldn’t belong. Fear of failure; and maybe a little bit afraid of potentially hurting myself. But when a studio opened up in town last year, I felt I had run out of excuses. And that’s when I started my practice. My teacher then went on to say, that although we start for a reason or reasons, wonderful other things end up happening along the way that we didn’t plan on or expect. And I agree with that. I love that. Things I could not have accounted for are being part of a wonderful community, the very simple joy of learning my body and listening to it, learning self-acceptance, self-love, and trust. It gave me something to think about and reflect and gave me extra energy / inspiration for my practice that night. I slept easy and well when I got home.
I’m still drinking my bitter nectar, or my black gold, as I like to call it. The dog was briefly settled in my lap, but I put him down so he could sun himself from the back door of the kitchen. Think I’ll make the most of this morning and go for a walk before it gets too warm.