Love for the Morning

October 19, 2009

Dear Papaito,

A quick note between readings, from our café.

I came early today. When I arrived it wasn’t nine yet. I am trying to wake a bit earlier each day. Today I woke at 7:30am, and by 8:15 I was out of my apartment. I checked my watch as I walked out the door, and relished in this little accomplishment (most days I fail, but I always try again).

The morning I walked into was cool, but not dark. The streets I walked by were mottled with Fall, -the bequest of three days of constant rain. I knew that when I returned home tonight, these leaves would have dried. But not yet, and as long as their pliant dead bodies remained fixed to a wet pavement, silent corpses they would be – and so we could share the blessed silence of the morning.

No, Papaito. My desire to wake up earlier is not guided by aspirations of academic productivity, so remote the possibility seems now. It is rather a purely romantic yearning for the morning. Simple. Transparent. Frank.

And it is jealousy, if you will, of those who embrace it even as it is born. So late I join each day, its attention is never mine alone. Always won by somebody else. Forever distant and beyond reach. I envy those who get to see it first, for they too, are the object of its coveted sight.

So should you wish to read in my quarrels with the alarm clock that persistence unique to loving hearts, you could. ( and know that the morning will be mine one day).

Oh but I have been carried away… It is not this love for the morning that prompts me to write to you today. It is rather something I have just learned about this café. I have just been listening –overhearing, really- three men in rubber boots and bright plastic coats speak about ladders, pipes and trucks. They sit behind me now. I cannot see them, but there is no need. Their conversation makes me smile. It is comforting to learn that this café is not the exclusive realm of academics and students. Those who make a living with their ideas are here, for sure, but apparently so are those who make a living with their hands.

Two days ago I overheard –yes, I seem to be in the business of eavesdropping- four people discuss with utmost seriousness the nature of happiness. Is it a product of the mind? Of the soul? Where does the idea originate? And they threw philosophers’ names as if they were street names. Except perhaps, with more ease. Then, too, I smiled, and found their conversation inspiring.

But today I contrast these people’s conversations to theirs and the contrast feels right. Necessary, even. This is as it should be, I think, a café that is about coffee and bread. ( a reminder to myself that it would be challenging to move to a campus town for my PhD. Homogeneity makes me shudder).

But I must return to my readings now. Readings have begun to wonder who you are, and why I am neglecting them with increasing frequency… Particularly when I come to our café. I could tell them, ‘because you are so freaking technical!! That is why!’ But the social sciences have a sensitive heart, so I would not talk to them this way. Best to return to them now.

Oh dear. My ‘quick notes’ never end up being quite so ‘quick.’ If you would excuse me now, Papaito.
J.

ps. Dear P, be on the lookout for an envelope dated 10/18/09. Yesterday I wrote to you about the rain. Do forgive me. Another love of mine.

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