The Cup Of Silence


Brought To You By God And Tim Taylor
September 8, 2008, 11:51 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

So it was cool and rainy on this Des Moines morning. Cool enough to wear the blue fleece I bought in northern California last summer, the night my brother Blake and I slept on the beach, drinking a bottle of Cabernet, and talking about girls.  I woke up this morning at 6:30 am. Unusual for me, seeing as how I am usually incapable of movement before 8:45. I didn’t have to be at work until 9:30, so the morning became an actual morning, not something to get through, to make it into the afternoon.

I jumped out of bed with unusual energy, and moved over to my computer. I checked email, and downloaded the morning edition of the BBC Global News podcast. After the iPod sync, I drove to the hotel I work for, and swam laps in the pool for a half hour or so. There is something about swimming. A type of fatigue comes about that no other exercise regiment can duplicate. It is almost relaxing. Peaceful.

I drove back home, listening to the rest of the global news podcast. There is still violence in Darfur, even though the Sudanese government says there isn’t. A member of the rebel army spoke with the BBC, pleading for help from the west. The UN reply was that they couldn’t be sure that the soldier’s story of 40,000 civilians being displaced within the past 24 hours was accurate, as the UN is unable to move their “observers” into the area. The reason? Its the rainy season. Too much rain.

The rain splashed against my windshield, as I pulled into my driveway.  I threw my wet swimming trunks into the dryer, and went to the kitchen to make some coffee. Coffee Ambassadors Guatemalan, fresh roasted three days prior. While cleaning my french press of the previous morning’s grounds, the smell of the wet coffee instantly brought me back to blue and gray mornings at Rob and Janet’s house in Sarajevo, making and sharing this very same coffee with those I love. Fresh bread from the “pekara” down the street. Maybe some eggs. The freshest milk of all time. Simeon running around. Rob typing on the laptop. The excitement and anticipation of discovering places I had read about in books. What shots I wanted to get that day. Food I wanted to eat. People I wanted to meet. Stories I wanted to hear.

These mornings also involved the place I call “my spot,” or “the spot.” I have one in just about every place I have visited or lived. I pick out a spot to go to. Usually in the morning. Usually a fairly private place. Always beautiful. The spot in Sarajevo was directly across the street from Rob and Janet’s neighbors. Between the spot and the house, there is tall mound of grassy earth, with a small graveyard on it.

At the top of the earth mound, a crooked grave in the shape of a cross sits, as the wind blows across the ridge.

Here is a foggy view from the spot.

The spot is where I would go in the mornings, just after breakfast and teeth-brushing, to think about why I was where I was that day. It was often cool on that ridge, looking out over the busy street leading commuters to and from Sarajevo. The taste of a morning Drina mixed with the flavor of my toothpaste. The connection I would feel on those mornings to the present day inhabitants of a city so full of pain. The many moments I didn’t want to relate to them at all. Green grass and yellow wildflowers.

In Des Moines, I have many spots.

After my shower, and a cup of coffee, I poured the rest of my french press into a large glass to take with me to work. The sun was now starting to show itself, peeking out from the gray sky, and lighting up the world with soft and cool yellows and oranges. Taking a sip of the coffee, with the wind blowing through my van, I recalled Sarajevo again, ridding a scooter to Baščaršija, to get a cup of coffee and some pictures. Passing by the billboards of a creepy looking man with a mustache and a top hat, promoting the local newspaper Oslobođenje. Passing “Zetra,” a structure from the 1984 Olympic Winter Games. Romas digging through the waste bins along the side of the road.

I pulled into my parking spot with a half hour to kill before work. I brought the book Fools Rush In to read, because I knew I would be early. I was at the part of the story where Bill Carter had just gotten back to Split after spending three weeks in besieged Sarajevo. He was swimming in the Adriatic, pitching his idea for a documentary about Sarajevo…

9:30. Time for work.

Heres to many more beautiful mornings.

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2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I love mornings. Mine haven’t been so great lately. Thanks for making this one a little better.

Comment by Leslie

Les, sounds like its time for you to sit down with a piece of toast smothered in chocolate spread. Maybe a rich cup of coffee with equally rich cream. That sounds like a good start.

Comment by Jason




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