Thursday, October 14, 2010

Cuppa Comfort

To find comfort and quiet and a scene change, I  follow the siren song of the green mythological mermaid logo sign hanging in a Starbucks window. Standing in line for my mocha, I'm grateful that the song of the moment is the soothing Handel's Water Music

A change of scenery this is; quiet and soothing it is not. The classical music is LOUD. Handel's violin bow is less a fairy's flitting wings and more an ogre screeching a warty elbow across the strings. The music is not a velvety curtain draping into gentle folds behind the stage of today's Starbucks play. It is a scratchy, vinyl tarp covering the cast, who must fight their way to the top of the tarp to deliver their lines. Also, the cast is large, filling all seats, waiting in lines, jostling shopping bags, cajoling small children ~ and seemingly, all yakking and yukking at once.

An armchair frees up just as I grab my cuppa comfort. Shrugging out of my baby blue fleece sweatshirt, I snuggle into the chair with my bible opened to Psalms in my lap. Chocolaty liquid warms my throat. Aaah. Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings. (Psalm 17:8)

I am pretty good at tuning out cacophony, so for a while, my only distractions are visual ~ black fringe shimmying on suede moc-style boots striding past, pale pink patent leather MaryJanes climbing on the next chair, tall tan wicker-sided wedge sandals waiting in line beneath a gray handkerchief-hemmed flannel cape. Black-and-white rectangles on tabletops flash LED spreadsheets and e-mail pages. I find myself admiring the cute barrista's pink-tipped punky hair. I want to dye my hair, too, only I'd probably choose aubergine all over. And soft curls, not sharp points.

I have come today bothered by too many recent all work-no play days. I can't even remember what I enjoy any more. I vacantly stare out the window at the empty side street with a river of colors flowing down the main street behind. A champagne bottle and rainbow-shaped CELEBRATE are painted in metallic gold on a shop window on the main drag. Across my empty, still, side street is an old building with a lovely arched window ~ bricked over ~ and a quaint verdigris lamppost with two signs affixed to it. One is black on white: ONE WAY, with an arrow pointing to the back of the second sign, white on red: WRONG WAY. It somehow seems fitting that just above my head out the window, a fire escape ladder hangs in midair, its black wrought-iron rectangles framing gray puffy cloud-pillows with blue-button tufts. 

Is that our choice in life? Be rescued from a burning building only to break a leg leaping from an escape ladder that ends 10 feet above the ground? How often do Starbucks barristas see tears on the cheeks of the characters in their theater? I wonder.

Donning my fleece hoodie again, I smile remembering Jimmy Fallon's "Thank you, tuna casserole, for being the sweatpants of food." As I pitch my mocha cup in the waste can, I am thankful someone somewhere sometime thought to blend chocolate with coffee. I intentionally walk under the fire escape to my parking spot. Climbing into the car, I see the bag of Jonagolds from this morning's farmers market, and I remember I'm the apple of God's eye. During my Starbucks visit, the mermaid, Handel, the fairy, the ogre, the barrista, all the laughing characters in today's play ~ and even God ~ did not lay out an LED spreadsheet of answers for me. But I feel comforted knowing God is faithful. He heard me, even above all the noise, and He comforts me.


tandemingtroll said...

During the summer, when it is too hot to be outside in Arizona after 8 a.m., I would take the boys to Starbucks while the girls were taking music lessons to read to them. The one near the music lessons rarely plays classical music and they also play it loud enough where I have to snuggle the boys extra close in order for them to hear the story. It is both annoying and convenient :0.

I am just glad that God doesn't have the attention deficit problems I have when it comes to Him.
Thanks for reminding me that we are all the apple of His eye!

Michelle Van Loon said...

What lovely, lyrical writing! I've added you to my google reader line-up, Jane! :)