Morning Rituals: Ephemerality...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Morning Rituals: Ephemerality...

I already ate the cupcake...
Far be it from me to be a creature of habit.  Being an expat allows me to live in short ephemeral moments that I usually bunch into two week increments.  When your residency in a place literally has an expiration date, you learn not to get too attached to anything.  The idea of planning beyond two weeks means I’ll write it down and pencil, never in pen, if I write it down at all.  But one thing is constant and indelible.  The morning ritual.

Wake up.  Start boiling the water.  Two spoonfuls of coffee into the French press.  A heap of sugar into the mug.  Pour the boiling water over the coffee, stirring gently, and then the waiting.  The impatient waiting.

Meanwhile, and replace the old dirty black and white paper of my childhood as I soak up the morning news with pristine hands.  There’s nothing like airstrikes in Libya or another Charlie Sheen post to wake you up in the morning.  The coffee might be ready.  I push the press, forcing the dark liquid through the sieve of the press and I pour it over the sugar.

How do people start a day without a huge cup of coffee?

Then the tummy rumbles and it’s time for the other half of the ritual – trying to find a suitable breakfast.  Lazy I am not, but heading down and then up five flights of stairs for a croissant every morning is out of the question.  Instead, I improvise.  It’s like a little game.

Sometimes there is yogurt.  Suitable.  Sometimes there are eggs. Yum.  Sometimes I’ll even have bacon or potatoes for a real treat.  This morning there were some left over rose-raspberry cupcakes from a friend’s birthday on Friday and a jar of peanut butter.  It’ll have to do.  I stuck some white chocolate in the cupcake for an added treat.  It’s not quite Wheaties but beggars can’t be choosers.
I suppose there are worse rituals...

The morning process is one of those things that I allow myself to get attached to since it’s not dependant on geographic location.  I've penned it in.  I could be doing the same thing living in Portland or in Singapore.  Still it’s an ephemeral experience, fleeting in the sense that eventually I’ll take a shower and get dressed, if I have to go to work or school.  If not, I have another spoonful of peanut butter and kick back.  A good morning ritual can easily last until noon, or even later, as long as the cupcakes last…  


  1. best days include when you convince kit, probably guilty/apologetic about some fit or another, to run down for an escargot chocolat-pistache. and to make the coffee too.

  2. I used to have a morning ritual of a big cup of coffee and a cigarette, but I kicked the cigarette habit and sooner of later changed the hot beverage. My current morning ritual over the past year : a soft boiled egg and a pot of tea.

  3. The escargot chocolat-pistache is a doozy. Well-deserved.

    Tea is always a happy substitute...and there is no end to the varieties. I found a great Oolong in Belleville that I can't get enough of...and so inexpensive.