Simple as Coffee, Pen, Book

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I love to journal, but time isn’t always available.

After several weeks when I finally sit down with myself, the sense of peace is like an ocean breeze in July. I’m met with soft waves of emotion and a modest undercurrent. Relief? Fear? Yes.  

The moment is gentle, uncomplicated – coffee, pen, book. I linger with tranquility as nearby church bells serenade me with a hymn. Exhaling I sense fluttering inside.  

I can’t lie to my notebook. 

I can laugh about my diagnosis to my manager, brandish weapons and roar with valor to my friends, but my diary sees the kitten behind the lion and knows that this diagnosis is likely a symptom of another, more ominous one. 

So I tell it the truth. 

I may be sick again. I may get sick trying to find out if I am sick. I feel like a target surrounded by a trigger happy army. So many threats aimed in my direction that I can’t distinguish what lies beyond the enemy.

What’s here now? 

The coffee’s aroma reaches me before the lip of the mug does, I linger over it; it’s my first cup in weeks. The liquid is hot enough to sting and somehow tastes dirty compared to the crispness of tea, but not in an unpleasant way. 

I vacillate through the objects of fear. I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember. I went from being an unselfconscious child to an overly insecure young adult and eventually settled on the knowledge that when I sing my heart is stimulated, it vibrates. Being told that I only have one working vocal cord is a heartbreaking development. Is it permanent? Will I ever be able to swallow and breath normally? Is the other one at risk? How will I work if I can’t speak? And the most daunting question: What’s causing it?

I appreciate the weight of my pen. It was a gift from a friend, a fellow writer. It’s ice blue, cool to the touch, but not austere. Gliding my fingers across its subtle trim is as meditative as the feel of its tip skating the surface of the page. A thoughtful gift.  

I read that people with Type 1 Diabetes are three times more likely to die in the hospital from the virus du jure. It’s hard to believe that after 25 years with the disease and surviving a round with the other “Big C” that I can be so threatened by something that is killed with soap and water. Some days I refuse to feel vulnerable. Some days I suspect I’ll never be with company again. 

The cover of my book is velvety and unadorned except for its deep plum color. This is number ten in a series that started seven years ago. My truest confidante is not only a patient listener, but has the most effective, yet subtle way of educating me.

Like now. 

Thrashing about behind a shield of evasion, avoiding an enemy that may be only a shadow is painful, easy and fruitless. 

There is comfort in knowing that right now is as simple as coffee, pen, book.  Maybe pausing to see the foreboding helps to relinquish the armor and creates the capacity for refuge. This terrain is difficult but if it results in an oasis, then worth it, no? 

Maybe I do have the time to journal, but I may not always have the courage. 

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