Thursday, August 12, 2010

Coffee, GERD and Writing

Apologies for taking more than a week before blogging again!

I asked my wonderful husband what I should blog about today, and he requested that I share with you some thoughts on coffee. Coffee is on his mind right now after the second coffee pot in three years bit the dust yesterday. He's back to using his old stand-by, but he seems to be grieving the loss of his trusty Mr. Coffee. I'll be honest that coffee is on my mind too, but definitely not for the same reason. I over did it on coffee last week and effectively worked my acid reflux (GERD) into a tizzy. I am reminded anew that what I put in my body actually matters. Next time you see me jittering around my house because of a third cup of coffee, please remind me of this blog post. Perhaps I will return to it, read of my misery, and be reminded that I cannot be a coffee drinker.

We consume coffee for a variety of reasons: for the warmth of something in our mugs, for the invigoration we feel when the caffeine stimulates our senses (and our vascular system), for the social outlet of having a sip of coffee with friends, and simply because we enjoy it. When we drink coffee, we are doing it because it meets some kind of deeper need, even if that need is merely a desire for more energy after a poor night of sleep. But, coffee also does something more. It transports the drinker into an altered state, a heightened state of awareness, almost like every sense has been awakened from sleep to experience a new reality. This is why coffee is sometimes likened to a drug. Once a person has experienced the new awareness, it is hard to go back to regular life. This is why many people become chronic coffee drinkers.

There is something similar in writing. When I sit down to write something new, I suddenly become aware of the enormity of the task. When I want to describe something, it is as though a thousand different adjectives come rushing at me, each with a meaning that could alter the reality I am painting with my words. Writing is like having one's senses heightened, or like having an emerging awareness that the world of description is at one's fingertips. It is exciting, transformative, and very real. The downside to writing is that editing must follow in order for the writing to be worth reading. And the downside to coffee is, for me, a painful fire in the pit of my stomach.

Well, I've done it. I finally found an analogy that works for me. Writing is like enjoying the awareness and warmth of a fresh-brewed cup of coffee. Editing is like the heartburn that follows. Only, with writing the editing is worth the pain. So, loving husband of mine, I will forego that cup of coffee. It isn't that I don't love you. I have just decided to stick with writing instead. :)

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