I took off, out into the cold chill wind of Maine in November, the rain hitting my face like pellets, reminding me that soon it will be snow. The two blocks from work to Rock City Cafe felt like two miles. Why brave the elements you ask? Coffee…and solitude.
I purposely desired work that would put me in touch with my community, specifically the arts community, here in my little town of Rockland. Why would an introvert purposely want to interact with the public? Necessity. I felt the need to learn the art of communication. There is so much I want to share with others and I needed the skill to do so. But after a couple of hours of hob knobbing, and smiling, and trying to say just the right things, I needed some space.
I sat at the bar while I waited for my latte. There is a comfortable familiarity to this space. The 20′ ceilings of the century-old brick building muffle the noise of numerous conversations. Tap, tap, tap of metal on metal, swoosh, swoosh, of the milk foamer…sounds that immediately calm my slightly agitated soul. This is a dedicated space for me. It is not like a vista or serene lakeside scene where one can feel a sense of true self, a single entity in the vastness of creation. It is, however, a place to reflect…and connect with humanity, without really having to actually connect.
As I sip my perfectly blended concoction of espresso, tightly foamed milk, and way too much sugar, everything seems right with the world. Ahh…another sip, perfectly warmed, perfectly warming. Coffee is a blessing. It’s right up there with wine making the heart rejoice. It makes everything work when we feel it can’t or won’t or it’s just too dang hard.
On this day, on a break in the workday, I mistakenly left my phone behind. That too was a blessing. I was left with my own thoughts and my own words, the jittery scribblings of an overly caffeinated introvert.
“Artists are people driven by the tension between the desire to communicate and the desire to shrink and hide.”
~ Donald Winnicott