Tuesday, October 26, 2010


I am teaching a creative writing class, so I decided to participate in this assignment with them. The assignment is to write for ten minutes about coffee. Go.

My tongue recoils at the earthiness of the brew, but my nose is so enraptured by the fragrance that I cannot put down the cup. It smells of mysterious mountains in far away lands, shrouded in fingerling mists of grey. It invokes a vision of rich red earth and low green foilage, heavy with deep red berries.

The first taste is always a surprise of heat and bitterness, but the resulting vision takes me back to Kishwa Tembo and the Mount Kenya Safari Club, where two college girls saw first hand the land of coffee and elephants. Funny how those are the two strongest memories I have of that adventure. Coffee, poured strong and fresh, and elephants,, who seemed to be in hiding until one day when we could hardly escape them.

The second swallow is less sentimental. The brew is now tempered and the flavor turns from bitter to bold. The boldness touches my mind and tells it to wake up and get moving, for the challenges of the day require undivided attention. It is the second swallow that cues my mental list-maker to sort and filter all the information stacked in my brain from the night hours.

By the third gulp, my attention moves to the list, anad less to the coffee. By the time the cup is 3/4 empty, I forget the mountains and the mist and lock into the mundane. The second cup is pure habit, with no romance about it.

Funny how quickly the mind moves from majesty to mundane. There must be a way to capture the magic of those first moments and use that energy to make even the dullest task seem special.

My list beckons...I'll have to consider that thought with tomorrow's first cup.

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