It looks to be a warm Saturday in Los Angeles today, which should make for a hell of a day over at Starbucks! It’s going to be frappucino madness and a whipped cream extravaganza. Earlier this morning though, I forgot I was scheduled to work. For a slight second, my time as a barista was lost somewhere, as a part of some other life.
The thing is, for the last few weeks I’ve gotten up early on most mornings for work, and in all the rush and daze of breakfast and showering and running to the bus or the car (because I switch it up!), I’ve known quite clearly my purpose for the day. In turn, to get up late this morning and forget that I was scheduled to work at around 1 was to find myself in a gray space.
I was another person, again.
And it was a strange thing, but it was also a great thing, to be lost in the wilderness of not knowing what to make of myself.
And well, it dawned on me the other day, as I was speaking to a co-worker: how it’s natural to think of work as working for money, but less natural to think of work as an effort in getting away from ourselves, when that’s precisely what work is for so many of us!
Sometimes, when I get up and head over to Starbucks, I’m so grateful. Not because there’s money to be earned, but because there’s a function to perform there, and that’s all. The function to perform is something other than myself to focus on, and this is a gift on the days I feel empty.
This morning, then, I guess I felt the emptiness again. In the moment I sat up, not knowing where to go or what the agenda for the day was, my body was a temple with all of its materials misplaced, and my mind was the chilly air inside. Rather than running from the offset temple, however, I held steady, as if to pause and reflect before a great mystery.
Everything which has happened up to this point — with work, with friends, and even with J.T.– it has both placed and misplaced me. The great discovery is still waiting for me, which doesn’t discredit or take anything away from everything which has happened for me so far, but which places things as just one sequence of events out of a trillion possible alternatives.
By extension, then, the strange temple is the universe, with the mind as the indefinite nature of its air. And today, as I get to spend another day with these things, it doesn’t matter whether it’s at Starbucks, at home, or anywhere of a dozen other places I can be; no matter what, today the emptiness is a gift, as again I get to make of it whatever I choose.