A slowly sipped coffee

I have a routine. I rise before the sun. I sit and sip my coffee slowly until it’s lukewarm while I tell time by listening to the traffic change on our street. A quiet time in a family of night owls. Gracie the cat stares at me until I set her breakfast down and then she pretends she didn’t even want it. I catch up on Twitter and Facebook.

Then I let my mind wander. Small blessings come into focus like annoyed-joy I felt when my husband and son woke me up with loud laughter last night. Or the gratitude I feel that I have taught my son to reflect on challenges and find the gift within. Or how much I am enjoying reorganizing my home and getting rid of what I no longer want or need.

My organization is more than striving towards a clutter-free life. It’s about unlocking my soul.

I am building spaces for creativity. My drawing and painting supplies are all together now. Gorgeous beads and fabrics are reminding me that I once made a living beautifying the world. I have moved the binder of first draft of a novel and handwritten notes out of a bin in the basement and placed it by my computer.

I think about my life.

Once I was a chemist who ran away to be an artist.

I sit with those words and know that is not quite the truth.

Once an artist became a chemist. Her parents insisted that she needed to do something practical to pay the bills. She could alway have her hobbies, they said.

She was a dutiful daughter. She locked the magic of her soul in a beautiful box. She forgot about it. Then one day, she found it and opened it. The thought of closing it up was unbearable and so she ran away to a beautiful crystal city 3000 miles away.

They were wrong. Words and beads and pencil lines turned into rent and food and clothes.

I’m not sure how it happened but as time passed, I reframed life in San Francisco as prolonged youthful escapades. I told myself that I was grown up and ready to settle down. Slowly, I fell into an old pattern. Art last. Writing last.

Once an artist became an executive.

Then she rediscovered herself and the cycle begins again.

I have reached the last air-chilled drop of my morning coffee. It’s colder than usual and the traffic is louder. More time has passed than I planned. I must go. I have a short story to revise.

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