I’m shaking at the kitchen table. Couldn’t even get the porridge
in the bowl before the questions & needs caught me blind-side.
There’s a hollow in the ground I head for in the mornings, a hole
in the storm. It’s a conceptual bomb crater I can hunker down in
to let the scramble in my head line up in patterns that will do
good, positive stuff. The pot goes on the stove, the porridge
goes in the pot. A little milk, a little more water, leave to
simmer. Fill the kettle, find a cup, select the first tea of the
day. Lady Grey, Darjeeling or Rooibos, how’re you feeling?
If it’s a weekday it’s done in silence & it really is silence.
If it’s a weekend I put the radio on. Radio 4 is less dour in
the morning on weekends, feeds the head with positives, not that
negative obsession in the week. Kettle boils, tea bag in the cup,
boiling water, leave to steep. Porridge starts to pop, stir with
a wooden spoon ’till it’s just right, between rough & smooth.
Fish the tea bag out with fingers, pour the porridge into a bowl.
The bowl reminds me of Japan every morning, the shape & the colour
feel complete & serene and I start to soak up that feeling.
The colour of the tea is just right, not too dark or light.
I can see the porcelain through it & that feels clean & clear.
I soak up some of that too. Select a spoon, a tea spoon, to
eat your porridge with. This is a memory of eating porridge with
you next to the oven in Winter. It’s a happy memory that I let
permeate through the unraveling scramble. There are pots of honey
in the cupboard. Are you feeling ‘thick’ or ‘thin’? Spoon a little
in to sweeten & stir. Carry to the kitchen table, flip open the
lap top & select a photograph. Now you’re on a roll. The scramble
is virtually gone. The thoughts are lining up, clean, good
& positive. You’re interested in something, fired up, ready to
engage with the world. What are you going to title your piece
today? It matters. It’s the last wringing out of the scramble,
laughing at our self & at the same time remembering Sam Shepard’s
‘Motel Chronicles’, a book that gives us direction, without which
we’d still be out there drifting. The first mouthful of porridge
is a glow, we feel lifted. The first hit of tea is sharp, we feel
clear & grounded. The memory of that book connects us with gratitude,
remembering all the people who have helped us & their patience.
The words begin to tumble out, wringing out negativity, turning it
into poetry. Anything bad at this point is transformed into good
& we are pointed in the right direction, ‘Good’ & ‘Orderly’.
Now we’re focused to take our place in the world & be clean
& straight & useful. Ok, I’m ready now.