RHYMES&REASONS

Observations, Thoughts and Reflections on 21st Century Life

Month: January, 2015

Stove Top Coffee Pot – routinely served and savoured

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  Each morning I now delight in making coffee in my stove top coffee pot, an unexpected gift which has delivered into my life not just fresh coffee but a fresh routine.  In an age where immediate gratification is demanded and not only the coffee is instant, routine has become an unwelcome word, something to be endured which consumes our precious time and keeps us from more engaging activity.

We associate routine with the ordinary, the familiar and commonplace.  We often perceive and experience it as boring and tedious and try to complete such tasks as quickly as possible.  And in busy lives there is a necessity to undertake them speedily, routine is essential for simple survival.  But through the mundane nature of our toils we may discover something of ourselves.  Routine is the practice of a skill which had to be courted and apprenticed, the harvest of which is the application of confident ability that enables our lives to operate like a well oiled machine.  We undertake our task in the hope that it will take us to a place, some anticipated horizon, where our endeavours may be witnessed, acknowledged and the fruit of our labours enjoyed.

But there is another more intrinsic value to routine.  It supports our emotional well being, our need for a reliable framework on which to hang our daily life.  In times of stress we turn to an activity like ‘putting the kettle on’, the familiar routine distracts, comforts and soothes.  When all around is chaos, routine provides us with a sense of control.  Even those lucky enough to be released from the quotidian of formal work will establish new routines, the joy of freedom soon gives way to the need for an habitual guide to stabilize our life.  The polarities of the routine and the extraordinary support each other and both are necessary to balance the scales of well-being.

The next time routine fatigue sets in, remember that it serves us well – it certainly serves exceedingly good coffee!

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. . . . and a peaceful New Year . . . .

Peace . . . is something we rarely experience.

Our daily lives don’t provide for peace.  We are surrounded by sound, from piped musak in shops and cafes, to advertisements which blare from screens large and small, to the discordant shrill of a lawn mower and toys which create more noise than the children who play.  An undeclared competition for our attention, it is a background stress we barely notice –  until we remove ourselves from it.  So accustomed are we that the mere thought of silence has become quiet dis-arming.

   Silence separates us from our daily lives and all with which we are familiar; it confronts and challenges us with the uncertain, allowing in thoughts and conversations with ourselves which we have previously conspired to keep at bay.  Quietness is the gateway to the unknown, initially a fearful place to be and just as an addict craves a fix, we look and long for distraction.  Our defense mechanism is to drown out the external commotion by immersing ourselves in a cacophony of our own choosing, a personal aural diet selected from an i-menu of endless options and drip fed through earphones barely visible.

Faced with exchanging sonance for silence even for an hour, many will experience the alarm of impending detoxification.  But as the edge of our discomfort starts to dissolve and abate, so we begin to allow ourselves to enjoy the settling quietness and embrace a sense of relief from the incessant clatter of everyday life.  To be silent is not to become still but to go about our tasks in full awareness and re-discover forgotten pleasures as other senses come alive and we begin to notice details previously shouted down.  Quietness is where we can hide: it is not the tortuous prison many fear but rather a release from a world where our sense of self is constantly diluted and homogenized.

To seek out peace once in a while from an exhaustive world, is to nurture and experience the joy of renewal and growth.  It is an act of independence, a bid for personal freedom and a place of privacy to be cherished and treasured .

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