30 April 2010

seize the moment.

Hallelujah!, originally uploaded by Luna Soledad.

There are few things better than a hot cup of java on a cool, sleepy morning...

I can remember fondly back to the days when I lived in Germany when every morning, regardless of season, was cool and brisk. My favorite coffee was (and still is) Jacobs Krönung. I used to love to take my hot cup of black coffee out to the balcony which overlooked my elderly neighbor's flower garden on still, silent mornings and just sit, wrapped in my robe and a blanket and silently allow the battle of hot 'n' cold to wage within me... slowly bringing me to life.

There's just something about that feeling of being cold, all over, and the sensation of warmth as it spreads infectiously, traveling from corner to corner - similar to slipping into the covers of a warm bed or dipping into a heated bath - the comforting sensation of returning to the womb... except this warmth, this bliss, begins within, in the stomach, and works its way out. The feeling of life stirring, stretching, waking...

And there is a point when coffee reaches that perfect, exact temperature at which to administer its magic - when it's not blistering hot but still shocks the palate and leaves a little sting as it flows down your throat. The perfect temperature to light the warming fire in the stove of your belly.

But like all magic, it is oh so fleeting... such a small window in which to seize such a contented moment - and then it's gone. And suddenly it's just lukewarm coffee and the morning is but another day.

Roman poet Horace wrote in Odes 1.11 [english translation], "Seize the day, trusting as little as possible in the next"... Carpe diem - a poem and phrase made re-popular in one of my all-time favorite movies, "Dead Poet's Society." --Horace's message rings clear: do not waste your time betting on a future which has yet to come, take hold of what is sure and before you now, this day...

It's a worthy mantra: Seize the Day. Though sometimes life dictates that we scale down even further and granted, some days aren't worth seizing. But every day is filled with moments that make life bearable, tolerable, likable, entertaining, and occasionally even enjoyable. Sometimes, we can do no better than to recognize and seize the moments as they occur.

Even if it's just a hot cup of java on a cool, sleepy morning.

Odes 1.11 [literal english translation]

You should not ask, it is wrong to know impious things,
what end the gods will have given to me, to you,
O Leuconoe, and do not try Babylonian calculations.
How much better it is to endure whatever will be,
whether Jupiter has allotted to you more winters or
the last, which now weakens upon the opposed rocks the Tyrrhenian Sea:
may you be wise, strain your wines, and because of short life prune long anticipation.
While we are speaking, envious life will have fled:
seize the day, trusting the future as little as possible.

Quintus Horatius Flaccus

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