The Local Bakery's Eternal Morning
For breakfast I was sat at my local bakery, planning my morning trip around the neighbourhood: fruit shop, dekeneh, pharmacy and then home for coffee.
Something touched me about returning to the pharmacy. I’d promised the pharmacist on Monday I would return; “Thanks for these recommendations, I’ll check with my doctor which is best and come back.” Usually I would say this and never return. When it comes to my health I flit, I’m a bit lazy with my body, with my physical, and anyway I’m lazy with anything that threatens to implement routine; there is very little Apollo (order) to my Dionysian (chaos) writer life. For a while I might squeeze lemon in hot water every morning and call that my Apollo, other times, there’s nothing but the waking itself that matches the days that have come before. But there it was; this something that touched me; something about returning, about consistency; reality around me becoming solid.
Our sense of reality sets in shape when we stick to our word, or when we create routine, when we fulfil commitments. Ain’t that why amidst the chaos of traveling to new cities, we love to find a ‘regular’ cafe to revisit? So, this morning, I’m going back to the pharmacy, to make an abstract thing (language) become a concrete thing (action).
And all the while, as I am mulling over this I am sat at that local bakery skimming H. Sullivan’s Three Poems, eating my usual order and drinking ice tea. My internal voice flirts with me, “do this every morning! This is nice!” We love to claim our mornings with health and joy and routine more than any other part of our day, don’t we? Probably because mornings are when eternity reveals itself. Mornings are Time’s way of saying “wake up, wake up! We’re doing it all again!”
So morning routine comes over us as so important not because it sets us up for the days ahead, but because it sets up our sense of eternal returning; everlasting re-runs; transient consistency. I once read: How you spend your days is how you spend your life, and I add: how you spend your mornings is how you spend your infinity.
When we make a morning routine, we turn the abstract eternity into concrete nowness.
I’ve spent many mornings with many different people, in many different places, doing many different thing in the past few years. A Dionysian, commitment-phobe. After all the cities and people and dishes I’ve moved through, I’m ready to say: ok my soul chose to be in the material world, to be in the permanent re-turning of eternity, so let me too be physical, be real, be as consistent as that car is a car. The pharmacy itself emblematic of my concreteness. Going back for medicine is my acceptance of the physical; of my body; my mortality.
That seems like a nice place to finish breakfast. With my mortality reminding me of my eternal. The sun is out now. I hand the baker back his pencil and make my way through the streets, eventually climbing the steep hill towards my solid reality, my eternal mortality; the neighbourhood pharmacy.