We were never a sunday-morning-ritual sort of family, at least not that I can recall — I add that caveat because my sister often tells me that I tend to mis-remember or had wildly different experiences growing up in the same house. Not entirely a surprise that siblings would carry different memories with them, and also not surprising that those memories grow roots in different ways in the fertile ground of our imaginations. I’m reminded of Johnny Saldana‘s keynote a la performance at a conference last yet as he transformed the large, impersonal space into the deep recesses of his memories, and with him the room full of 150+ people traveled to his high school English classroom, a college dorm room, his living room, a mother’s embrace, a teacher’s compassion.
Sunday morning scenes in movies and television shows always fascinated me. Staying in bed longer than the length of one’s slumber was a practice that at least one of my parents equated with various other sins of the world; the other parent, naturally, embraced the opposite of vim and vigor and appreciated the benefits to be had from a more languorous start to the day. As someone who is chronologically recognized as an adult, I am woefully lacking the routines and schedules that many of my adult friends — and more than a few young people I work with — have comfortably incorporated into their lives. But this strange, (relatively) meeting-free existence I’ve been living these past few months has seen a schedule creep in, and I seem to be in the midst of a third Sunday morning that involves a nice dark roast, multiple computing devices, the buzz of cafe chatter, and an easy toggle between reading (today it’s back to muriel barberry’s the elegance of the hedgehog) and writing (barberry is upping my game for all the nano’ing i have yet to do). And it doesn’t hurt that coming through the speakers overhead is often a bluesy, throaty, voice of a songstress from nearly a half a century ago — or at least ones that sound like they might have been.
People around me are:
- leaning against their palms staring into/laughing at/appear confused by their laptop screens
- looking just past any one object as if they are trying to fashion a new dimension simply by intent alone
- sitting, one leg folded over the other, with the city weekly paper unfolded across their laps
- turning pages of a book while looking at the person sitting at the next table, who is staring intently at his/her screen
- slowly, carefully, and with love stirring their cup of tea or coffee to which they have just added milk/cream/honey/sugar/simple syrup/splenda
- standing, hands around a mug or cup, deciding where to take a seat, spend a bit of their Sunday morning.
On twitter, others have been spontaneously sharing the goings-on of their #sundaymorning. I think of this when skeptics criticize and critics are skeptical of “the value” of social media. They’re asking the wrong question — it’s not what one gets out of it, but that there’s a there there in which to participate, if one is inclined. Another space, like the coffee shop, church, a large comfy bed, a mountain retreat where one might spend some time on a Sunday morning.
Hallelujah — Rufus Wainwright’s rendition of the song penned by Leonard Cohen — has begun overhead and so I must stop writing and fight the urge to tear up; thankfully this is not the Jeff Buckley version which causes me to come undone each time… Ah music, memories, space, and time.