COFFEE AND ME
Yesterday I posted, on Facebook, an image of a mosaic entitled RESEARCH. In the comments I mentioned I would try to discuss the coffee cup appearing in the scene.
Thirty years ago, during my annual physical examination at the doctor’s office, he casually asked me how many cups of coffee I drank each day. My answer was eight or ten cups. “Whoa,” he said, “that’s way too much coffee. You have to reduce that.” I mentioned he had said exactly that during the previous visit more than a year before and I had already cut way back. “Really? How much were you drinking then?” I said about thirty cups per day. So you see … coffee and the coffee cup were my constant companions during the decades between 30 and 60 years of age. Part of the charm of constantly sipping coffee is having coffee-stained teeth and being in a continuous search for the coffee cup, which seems to behave in a manner similar to a poorly trained pet dog. It’s always around, but one is never quite sure where.
Back track a few decades to my age of five, first day of kindergarten, sitting at the breakfast table with my parents and younger sister. Kids having our usual light breakfast of milk and toast (more about that some other time) and my father is drinking coffee. He reaches over and pours some of his coffee into my milk. My mother questions this, but Dad says “It’s good for him. Helps the brain.” That became the ritual, a sizable glurp of coffee in my milk every morning. By age ten, it was three-fourths coffee and one-fourth milk. With a little sugar, too. By age 14, it was black coffee, no sugar.
For decades, medical people and foodie types kept us well-informed about the harmful effects of coffee drinking. When this preponderance of ‘expertise’ was mentioned to my father, he would merely say “Some day in the future, they will learn.”
Fast forward half a century, and we finally learn that coffee drinking does, in fact, help the brain, and other of our parts as well. This is not the place to discuss how overwhelmingly coffee benefits outweigh the possible detriments. Just consider that those who express negatives about coffee can be considered weak-kneed wussie-pussies and are engaged in sacrilegious misinformation. Which brings me to the spiritual side of coffee.
Each morning, with quiet, but determined eagerness, I reach for that nectar of the gods and its holy aroma. Caressing the warmth of the cup, I take the coffee into my own being to gain its goodness and zest. Coffee is a holy word with magic powers.
That, in turn, brings me to the mosaic coffee cup. Since coffee drinking has been an important part of my life, I felt it should have a prominent place in this mosaic self-portrait. And so it is up front in the art piece, centered and a bit larger than life.