What’s on my mind?  Coffee.   Actually, the need for coffee.  Hot caffeinated  goodness; and, the happiness, burst of energy, and focus it brings.

You see, coffee is my drug of choice.  I begin, and sometimes end, my day with café.  I don’t even pretend I am not addicted.  But I wonder; to what am I ensnared?  What about Kaffee can change my mood, embroil my emotions, and dictate my behaviour?

I know there is research available that discusses the merits and demerits of kahvi, but – truth be told – I am really not that interested in the science behind java.  I am just curious about the psychosomatic hold this hot beverage has on me.

For example, I know that I associate caffé with my Mom, long conversations, and good food.  I also correlate caife with studying, writing, and struggling.  Because school work is, well, in a word:  work. I use kohv to supplant my fatigue, battle my weariness, embolden my creativity, sustain my focus, and generally keep me awake, alert, and (more or less) in the present.

However, as the minimum quantity of kaffi that I need to operate continues to increase for a modicum of functionality, I begin to wonder what toll my Kahve consumption is taking on me.  Has my tool become my crutch?  Is the cure – kafea – worse than the disease – fatigue, writer’s block, disassociation from the rigors of academic life?

By extension, is my coffi undermining my ability to write?  Has kape usurped my creative ability?  For, truly, without it – or at least the somewhat immediate promise of it – I seem unable to string words together for a simple sentence, let along weave a complex web of research and considered academic opinion in a paper or for a project.

Writers often need a just so environment for writing.  If creating the most perfect atmosphere possible, through lighting, music, special tools (such as myriad coloured pens), lucky socks, or the ratty bathrobe that smells a little funny, but is oh so comfortable, or any number of other intimately personal eccentric preparations, allows the writer to focus on the task at hand by promoting confidence, enhancing comfort, and inviting creativity, then such measures become part of the writing process.

However, if one puts off writing because the lighting isn’t right, the music is all wrong, one of the coloured pens is out of ink, a sock is missing (it’s probably in the great dryer in the sky), and someone washed the stinky old bathrobe, or for any other minute reasons even remotely related to the writing process, then one’s beneficial preparation has become a liability.

So, too, is my koffie consumption.  It has grown from the morning must have, afternoon pick-me-up, and occasional dinner supplement to that which dictates my every thought and resulting action, while also stealthily being the culprit to my reduced creativity and production.  Here is the rub:  The increased intellectual inaction calls for yet more kahawa, so the cycle continues.

I will never smell fresh coffee brewing without thinking of quiet mornings with my mom.  Nor will I ever study without a pot of my own special brew ready and available.  However, I must realize that I have come to depend too heavily upon cà phê, and I must disentangle myself from this dependence.

Just as a writer must not put interminable roadblocks to writing in his or her path, I must disallow khofi to dictate my life; and, by extension, I must not let my creativity be hobbled by my dependence on a peculiar preparation.  So, too, must a writer overlook the imperfections of one’s environment, lighting, music, tools, wardrobe, etcetera, and just write.

My path to kas fes was gradual; my dependence did not develop overnight.  Likewise, my disassociation from coffee will be gradual; and, my independence therefrom will not happen overnight.  As many writers can attest to, rarely is a piece written in one fell setting; rather, it often takes many sessions of thought, concentration, focus, and the ever present revision.

I will approach KaBa the same way:  I will treat it like a working draft, and each revision will reduce my desire and need for it.  There will be mistakes.  There will be rewrites. But through the revision process, my preoccupation with hot caffeinated goodness will shrink to a manageable size; and, it will once again be just a tool to help me with my schoolwork and my writing.

Now, if you will excuse me, I need a cup of coffee.

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Sam G. says:

    Bryndahl, I absolutely love how you used different names for coffee from different languages! Coffee is definitely a globally consumed beverage, and your illustrate that without even saying so. You are certainly not the only one with a strong addiction to coffee; I am a fellow coffee addict. Maybe we should start a Coffeeholics Anonymous support group at the UCWbL? Maybe we could use this addiction towards our advantage during the writing process; a different brew for each genre we tackle? Or even, set up a reward system: ever few pages of draft could be a fresh cup of dark roast, latte, or a shot of espresso :)! Very enjoyable read, nice work!

    • Bryndahl W. says:

      Hi Sam,
      I apologize for the tardiness of my reply. There was a line at The Bean. 🙂 I love the idea of the reward system: So…will work for coffee?! Thanks for the feedback. I appreciate it.