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What Grounds You

A free verse blog about coffee grinds and staying grounded



There's been a lot of movement

I’ve been moving around

Like literally moved to a new place (more info on that here)

And started teaching yoga at a new studio (more info on that to come)

And have been traveling here and there

And everything is spiraling

Into oblivion

The way the hot coffee spirals with cream and sugar

And it gets cloudy

Vague

Unclear

Mixed together

But you can’t look away

Because as it changes form

It looks beautiful

And you get lost

You feel your fingers slipping

Sometimes the constant swirling

Feels like

I’m losing grip

Of where I am headed

And why

Because I try to ‘go with the flow’

But then I’m flowing so much that there's nothing to hold on to


It feels like I’m getting lighter and lighter

Moving towards center

Zeroing out the scale

Neutralizing

Weightless

Floating

And I’m floating so high

Like Charlie when he drinks the Fizzy Lifting Drink

And starts rising up

Toward heaven


At first it’s fun

New

Fresh

Freeing

But, then

It’s not

It’s scary

Like the sense of falling in the pit of your stomach

There’s nothing to grab hold of

No support from below

Or above

Or anywhere

The price of being Light

Of floating

In zero gravity

Like a satellite

Orbiting

Alone

Like when you have had a little too much ‘Fizzy Lifting Drink’

And you try to sleep

You close your eyes

And the room spins

And everything is swirly colors

Vomit not far from possible

And it hurts behind the eyes

And the only thing that helps

Is to stick your foot out into the dark and scary abyss of your room

Vulnerable to the monsters and mayhem that be

And put your foot on the floor

Find a steady marker

A buoy

A lifeboat

A lighthouse

Quite literally

Find.Ground.

And the spinning stops.


And all the whirlwinding and movement taking

Like airplanes

Take me a few thousand feet from ground

And yet, it still all feels so clear. And sensible. Easy.

Go with the flow.

Grounded.


And I started to wonder

How could I be floating off in the ether somewhere orbiting and still somehow so connected?

So rooted.

Tethered.


I started looking at the moments. About the tiny ways I could still sense grounding.

About the sense of comfort that comes with routine and ritual. About the feeling of home in varying spaces and faces. Even when ‘home’ is miles away. Even when ‘home’ is transitory.

Even when ‘home’ is not a place.


I started thinking about what grounds me.

About the groundedness that is beyond the movement and constant change.

The groundedness that IS movement.

That when we stop moving is when we really lose ground.


I started noticing these patterns.

Of behavior. Of cycle. Of repetition.


Of arriving home and saying sweet little nonsenses to the dog that greets me at the gate.

And then the words drift off into time and space.

Until I leave and say sweet goodbyes.

Until tomorrow when I arrive home again.

And the sweet little nonsenses drift into time and space.

I notice the sound of rocks crunching under my feet on the way to the door.

And the inevitable dropped fork, cut corner, bumped table, scalding espresso spill.

Because I’m a klutz.

And subsequent frustration

Then giggles.

Repetitive

Patterns


And then there’s the ring shaped rust stain on my cutting board.

From when I left a can on top way back when.

In some other time and space.

A tiny mark.

Permanent and temporary.

That normally I am not cognisant of.

But somehow in the context of grounding, I am.

A tiny mark that if I happen to catch a glimpse of

Keeps me on the ground.

A reminder.

Even in my peripherals.

Beyond my consciousness.

Like a birthmark.

Like that feeling when you get off the bus and you look around

Take stock of where you are

See a familiar crack in the sidewalk

Or bit of spray paint on a sign

These small #details

Details that are ordinarily filtered out

But suddenly

They started to matter

A subtle feeling that ‘this must be the place’


With all the movement and change

And new spaces

And new faces

It was exactly these tiny marks

Instances of recognition

Of familiarity

In unexpected places

That seem to be

What grounds me



And suddenly it didn't matter that

I moved

And lost stuff in transit

Because I also found stuff

At the bottom of boxes

I don't remember putting there

And see that spray paint on that sign

That I actually never really noticed

But then

In this new context

And seeing that same sign

On the way to somewhere else

Seeing it from a different angle

A new side

Like re-learning the streets and the mental map

When you move

Even if you only move a few blocks

Because your trajectory is a little different

And yet

You find yourself

On the same road

Or looking at the same road

From a different one

Looking at the same silly spray painted sign

With new eyes


And it’s starting to dawn on me

That

What Grounds You

Is

Like a fly on an open palm

If you try to close your hand around it

The astute fly

Flies away

Before you can take hold

Before you can

Get a good grip

But

What if you let it just be there?

Enjoying a rest on your hand

Until it’s ready to go

Add it to the collection of tiny moments

That remind you

That

This must be the place


And so

The Grounding comes

It comes from the unending silent battle

Between The Biscayne Poet and I

Of who will make the morning coffee

And how each morning

The french press is still filled with

Mushy old grinds

From yesterday's brew

And so we collect the mugs and rinse away yesterday's traces

And do it anew

More water

And dry grinds

And the kettle starts

And the familiar but normally overlooked sound of the boiling finished

And the pouring the liquid over the grinds

And the sudden waft of coffee aroma

Right past my nose into my subconscious

And all the moments of warmth

Of coffees past

In cafes

On cold evenings after dinner

In distant cities

Or right here

In this house

From my very own Bialleti cafetera

That has served up espresso

To more people

In more homes

And more countries

Than I can count

And every time

That familiar smell

And then

Every time

The funnel full of

Mushy

Used

Grinds

The coffee grinds

The coffee grounds

And through the coffee

Grounding



Like seeing the face of someone from the past

In the face of someone new

Deja-vu

Like the familiar shock

That comes

When a new set of hands graces your back for the first time

And it’s pleasant and unpleasant all at once

And it rips you up, shakes you awake, makes you float like Fizzy Lifting Drink

But also shakes you back

To the last hand

That touched your back

And gave you that bittersweet chill

And then

Deja-vu again

But this time you think back

With nostalgia

With a sense of ephemeral mysteriousness

With longing

For those moments

That you feel you were grounded in

In a way that only retrospect can impose

Because

We all know

In those moments, too

We were just a satellite

Longing for grounding past.

For the smell of coffee

And the familiar little cartoon man with a mustache pointing up to heaven

On the side of the cafetera

That I almost never think of

Almost


It’s in returning to a place you thought you’d never be again

Meeting someone and not knowing when will be the next time

Or, if there will be a next time

And in the same vain

Not even thinking about if you’ll meet them again

But then you do

In a coincidental happenstance

And surprise

And deja vu

And this mixture of longing for what’s not yet lost

But being present while it's here


It’s in curious moments

Witnessing couples part ways in airports

Instant knot in your stomach

Cause in another space and time

That was you

Saying goodbye

And inevitably

Will be you again

When the divine madness arranges those pieces

On your metaphorical chess board

And no matter how much strategy

Planning

Attention

You just can't account for the mere quantity

Of permutations

Of possible directions

The game could go

Or

For that matter

The inept skill level of your partner

Who tries to put themself in check with each move

Until in a moment of lost focus

They do

And you don't realize it until it's too late

And

Game over

Check mate.


It’s 3 notes of a song that bring you back

To the time when you knew all the lyrics

And you still do

Or

Hearing a cover song

By an artist you love

And

Deja vu

And enjoying this rendition for what it is

But still

A sad subtle longing

For the original


It's the repetitive nature of sun salutations

Up and down

Down and up

Halfway lift

Then fold

Inhale

Exhale

Repeat



It’s poems

Flowers

Dirty feet

Old photographs

Long lost jewelry that reappears

The pattern in the tiles

The familiar feel of locking the bolt of the door

It’s feeling a sense of home

In tiny moments

In tiny things

All the time


And somehow this collection

Of random items

Of ever revolving experiences

Feelings

Memories

People

Aromas

Tiny marks

As seemingly disjointed and scattered as they can be

Are inextricably tied

To What Grounds You

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