Running and pulling shots matter a great deal to me, and are thus the primary concern of this blog. Both endeavors, though hands on, are still largely about speed. To be a good runner is to be a fast runner, of course. And although there is growing tolerance for pour over bars and other "slow coffee" methods, most customers want their drink within a 90 second window. And that's fine.
In some ways, it's become more than fine. It's become a set of circumstances to which I am so well adapted that, when they are absent, it feels as if something vital is missing. Without the urge to GO, to get shit done quickly, precisely, and exactly, I feel like something of a bum. Life without grindtamppullsteampournext is lacking something, and it's noticeable, even for this one week.
There is a place for such activity, and value in embracing it. I don't think I'll ever rid myself of the pleasure I get from manic activity, from simply doing things. But there is value in not doing such things as well, in inaction and stillness. And that's something I've never quite been able to embrace, though I'm realizing, more and more, that I really ought to.
I took a three hour walk today, out by the lake. There is a trail there which I run a great deal, but I'd never walked it before. It was cold and somewhat wet, the sky tinged with a soft grey. There was snow and the ground too, and a little ice. It felt like Winter. I had rice, beans, and coffee, then set off. I didn't take my phone or an MP3 player and there were no cars nearby. There was the crunch of my feet on the dirt, the ice crystals cracking beneath me. Otherwise it was silent. My only company was the skeletons of trees and the wind, omnipresently pressed up against my face, finding its way inside my coat. I got cold but embraced the sensation, feeling just that one thing and not really minding anything else. I thought about nothing and did nothing but walk.
It was a spectacularly useless afternoon spent doing nothing of any value at all and yet I feel very good having done it. I feel refreshed, as if my mind had been thirsty for such a thing and had now drank its fill.
A customer once told me to be easy and I think he was right.