Good Morning

My day starts with a beep. The cheap travel alarm bought at Wal-Mart years before I cared about who made my alarm clock and why it was so inexpensive greets me with a consistent and familiar electronic chime. It’s not even a real chiming, it’s a machine programmed to mimic what a chime might sound like. Either way the sound achieves its only purpose and I wake lying on my side and facing north. My window faces north and I tend to fall asleep and wake on my left side. At this time of the year the sun does not greet me in the morning. If I’m lucky a slight bluish hue casts itself about my room, the sky seems to have a sickness this time of the year. Most mornings its cloudy and I don’t even bother to draw my curtain back. I can hear what kind of day it is before I leave the bed. I listen for car tires passing by on Fremont Avenue. Tires don’t lie. If its dry I will hear only wind resisting against the surface of a passing car, if its wet I will hear tires resisting water as it rushes down the hill. On windy days I listen for the sound of seagulls calling to each other as they ride wind currents that push their way up from the Sound and over the ridge I live on top of. Phinney Ridge.

After I throw on some warm clothing (this old building is not centrally heated) I open the door, head down the wooden staircase and into the kitchen. Water in the kettle, coffee in the French press. Since moving down the street from Lighthouse coffee shop I generally have a bag full of their grounds located conveniently in the cabinet where I keep all of my dry goods. I love coffee. I don’t really know how I woke myself up all of those years I didn’t drink this amazing substance. It’s in this dark and mysterious concoction that I find sustenance to get me through the morning.

I pour the boiling water into the press and while waiting for the grounds to steep I distribute granola into either a bowl of milk or yogurt (plain). Sometimes I make toast with peanut butter on it and some days I eat an orange. I then setup camp in the makeshift living room, clearing off a space on the small wooden table we eat on. The living room is dark so I turn on two lamps (I hate overhead lighting!). Before I sit down I look to make sure everything is gathered; bowl of granola in milk or yogurt, check, French press full of really good coffee, check, handmade Whistler mug, check, toast, check, an engaging article or fascinating book to peruse while consuming food and drink, check.

Most days begin exactly like this for me and I look forward to my mornings more than any other part of the day. I am habitual by nature and have come to enjoy that part of my self that needs structure. I find solace in these small moments of predictability. My friend Sam likes to poke fun at this predictability by calling me “an old man”. I’m ok with allowing myself a certain degree of normalcy in a very abnormal life.

Every morning I wake to find myself a new man in the same old skin, and if I allow it, this old man will have listened to the new man and by the end of the day become old with wisdom again.


Blogger jacqui said...

hey old man. thanks for that little morning in review - it's cool to know that some things never change, even if i do remember mornings you wouldn't be caught dead drinking coffee.

11:12 AM  
Blogger Corey said...

shhh, dont tell anyone that. you remember water pancakes and steves morning gas? i loved that!

10:12 PM  
Blogger Michael Ashley said...

hey Corey, did you get my emails? I can't remember what email address you sent me those papers from, but I deleted the email. The papers were excellent I thought. I didn't know you lived in denver. dang.
hey have you heard of storyville.com. you probably have, but I thought their vidoes were funny. I've got an interview with "the Man" on thurseday. I'm ok with that though. peace, miky

2:48 PM  
Blogger jacqui said...

yeah i remember the good old days at 18th ave ... ywam vancouver is moving out of that place next week - its the end of an era. it will be sad to see it go - but don't worry, we'll always have those pancakes (the mix will be eternally sold at costco i'm sure).

2:05 PM  
Anonymous skye said...

my favorite mornings are saturdays now, when sleeping in isnt as desirable as trekking over to the abbey with an unwashed face and greasy hair to share pancakes and coffee, bitching, and laughing at your gas. yay for predictability!

2:22 PM  

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