Coffee and Chores in the Void

In the morning I take my coffee to the barn and sit on a bale of hay. It is still dark though eastern hills bleed pale light. Mid-April but still cold enough to button the old flannel overshirt my father wore.

Pull the purple wool cap Chrisoula made down over my ears.

Sit shivering in the dark, sipping coffee, listening to birds sing.

Listening to birds sing, then listening to the silence between the songs of birds.

Shiver: coffee: bird song: silence.

And eventually – as faint beams of sunlight enter the barn through dusty windows, and caffeine sets the blood humming – getting around to wondering:

Does bird song break – does it fill – the silence?

Does silence support the bird song? Does it make the bird song possible?

And so on, in variation.

Coffee: bird song: silence: inquiry.

Yet the questions – because of their underlying reliance on the existence of cause-and-effect, and its underlying reliance on linearity, none of which we are allowed to take as Truth – go nowhere.

Go on and on going nowhere.

And yet.

Sunlight illumines banks of cloud laying still on the horizon: mallow and lilac, roseate accents, lavender folds. How fast one’s coffee cools, the mug chilling already-chilled fingers!

The bird song and the silence cancel each other, like one plus minus one leaving zero. There is neither bird song nor silence: there is only emptiness. Only stillness.

There is only this – this this – pouring itself continually from itself into itself: the nameless and formless endlessly creating what is nameless and formless endlessly creating.

So what? Who cares?

Really: who cares?

Finish the coffee, rise and stretch. Set the mug on a shelf near the WD-40, and get going on chores. Throw feed for the chickens and fill their waterers. Throw hay to the horses, water them under watchful eyes. Head indoors to slice apples for drying, get bread dough going, hang laundry, wash dishes. Write and teach. This and that.

And so on and so forth and so on.

How sweet to touch the hem of the Mother’s dress as she passes in the morning! How satisfying to care for the Father in His many forms asking for care. Thank Christ for coffee in mid-Spring, and mornings given to the birds.

Thank Christ for you, in whom and through whom all of this is given, over and over, in love.

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