Staff meetings are typically not the places where one meets their muse. Yet, while explaining the Y2K phenomenon to a brilliant colleague too young to recall that era, the muse moseyed up for a chat.
“Yeah, during that last month of 1999, I halfheartedly started a Y2K box. It was full of only no-tech coffee-making supplies and a water purifier. I had my priorities.”
Another colleague laughed and then called me the barista of the apocalypse.
I like it.
I’ve been thinking since then of what it would mean to be the barista of the apocalypse- especially knowing that the word “apocalypse” is derived on its etymological trek from the Greek, apokaluptein, which means to uncover, reveal.
Would it mean tossing brimming to go cups at people as they tried to outrun four horsemen? Or giving free bean water to any and everyone as the last foolish emperor slapped the GO button of the last nuclear option?
How about: as the barista of the apocalypse, I’d serve coffee to the people revealing their precious truth and uncovering what has weighed them down.
I can totally get behind that. In fact, I’m ready.
Here comes the hard part.
I need to start with my own heart. My skittish, squeamish, brave, foolhardy, courageous, shaking-in-my-bunny-slippers, take-the-hill, full-speed-ahead, maybe-never-get-it-right heart needs uncovering from the gunk that still clogs the way to freedom. And in doing this, I may need something stronger than coffee.
All I’ve got is tepid water (in this age of pollutants, who’s complaining?) and here goes.
I am foolish.
I am afraid I am not good enough.
That often comes off as aloofness, arrogance or terror or “don’t go there!”
I am terrified of experiencing another round of humiliating duplicity
and being left holding my dripping heart in my tiny little t-rex hands
while people who love me look on and wonder how they, too, will make it through.
But the risk of wounding pales when held up to the light of maybe-getting-it-right-this-time
as an equal partner
in a life-long love
of laughter and goofiness, mutual respect and “please shut the lid on the loo.”
Of sharing my pumpkin bread
friends and family
and warm nest of covers when the freezing winds howl.
And though I am trained to think I am the problem
ALL of the problem
wisdom, experience and those phone calls I took in our home tell me different.
I am no unicorn.
I am a conundrum of insecurities and crazy courage.
Of joyful flight from a small snowy cliff
And the fear that silence means “I no longer love you.”
Like so many, I have much to give.
And understand that this does not mean
I’ll ever connect to someone who wants to receive what I offer
and give of himself, too.
All in. We’ve got this.
We’re better together.
As before, I am hoping the foolhardy willingness to be transparent
in all things here
will open the window of an unnecessarily-closed soul
and a gasping heart will find fresh air
and warming sun
knowing that they are not alone in their wondering
if they are enough
too quirky for prime time.
What do you wrestle with in your good life?
I will listen.
I’ll make a pot of coffee and offer you my favorite peppermint mocha if you’d like
as you uncover –
reveal yourself – to another
who will not judge you
nor demand fealty to an unseen god though I may continue to hope it is all real
nor remind you of what you bravely uncovered
so you feel beholden
or forever broken.
Your words – your heart – will be kept in the strictest of confidence because you and your story are so worth it.
I will be your barista in your apocalypse.
God knows the folks who have been mine.
And if not me – find your somebody who will love and value you and your story when you cannot.
You are so worth it. It is a wonder how worth it you are.