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Rituals: Our Daily Moments of Zen and their Place in Creativity

Updated: May 20, 2021


Mason Currey presents the question: “[A]re comfort and creativity incompatible, or is the opposite true: is finding a basic level of daily comfort a prerequisite for sustained creative work?” As it turns out, creative types tend to adhere to rituals to allow for art to flow through them. There's no one way to creativity, so we reached out to the Loud Coffee Press community following our previous blog post on rituals. Here are some of the rituals happening in our very own creative community.


Weekdays disappear with every rising sun. I arise for work before the alarm. There’s no need to chase an extra dozen minutes. They’re outside the window, chirping, barking. My cat curls my leg in the kitchen for breakfast. My mind isn’t refreshing tabs or logging in to databases. The breeze through the window is medicine. I eat breakfast, appease the fasting in my organs. Allow the body to regulate on its own terms. Breathe on its own terms.

-Visit Josh Dale on Instagram @jdalewrites or at https://www.joshdale.co/.


***

Image: Pixabay

Every night we set the mood. The table gets cleared, the sink emptied, the dishwasher run.

The whir of the water lulls us into the security of a day well completed. Next, doors are closed lights are turned off. Each room going to sleep as we head to the bedroom. We allow one light on as we get ready for sleep. A dull pink glow from a salt lamp replaces the highly caffeinated brightness of ceiling lights. We change into the pajamas that are folded on our respective sides of the bed, left there by our morning selves. Two electric toothbrushes, two skin-care routines that are like distant cousins rather than siblings, and two breathe-right strips; a dance to clean away the day. Phones are plugged in, alarms are set, and the white duvet is drawn back. His arm pulls me in as we wind down with quick videos to laugh to. We end when we laugh so hard our bodies need a break. Glasses are set down, the salt lamp is turned off, and the ocean sounds are called for on the Alexa. We exhale. We sleep. And we start again.


-Danielle Remigio is a higher education professional in Boston who loves to write, connect, read, rock out to music, and can be found on Twitter at @missdaniellelyn or Instagram at @Daniellelyn23 or @healthy_bites_healthy_budget.


***

Every morning this past winter, as long as it was above 16 degrees F, I would take a walk in the snow along Lake Michigan first thing in the morning. Before another day at home without my favorite group outlets, before facing another day of my child's virtual or hybrid learning, I would allow the cold air to invigorate me. One day, I realized it was the only part of my day when I saw people outside my immediate family without masks. I could smile at people and see their smiles, which was suddenly a novelty. I would pay special attention to the colors of the sky each morning, which were never the same two days in a row, and I would see the local herd of deer nearly every day. Once, they were scared out of the woods by a local labradoodle and they charged in a herd around me, sounding like a stampede of bison. Most days, it was the only part of my day I felt peace, and every day it was the best part of my day. As the nation and my life slowly return to a faster pace of life, these peaceful winter walks are what I miss most.

-Margaret King is a coffee-addicted lakeshore dweller who writes poetry and short fiction. Finder her on Twitter @indreni .


***


Image: Pixabay

When we remodeled our kitchen several years ago, I prevailed against opposition and won a window seat. I imagined friends sitting here of an evening, sipping wine, chatting with me while I cook. And they do. But I hadn’t foreseen how often I would sit here in the mornings, cradling my “wake up, Laura!” cup of coffee, musing about the upcoming day. Beside me, tall windows display huge trees flung against the day’s version of sky. Today, gray with moisture blown in from the sea. Across the house, out the back, a view of the park, swales of well-watered grass with newly-planted trees. When my coffee cools, I will head to my desk and write. But for now, I rest in this ritual of a slow, coffee-fueled easing into the day.


-Visit Laura Findley Evans on Instagram @laurafindleyevans and on her website www.LauraEvansWrites.com for news about her upcoming debut MG fantasy novel.

***

Mornings in a home with 4 boys (infant included) are not for the faint at heart. It's a combat zone of a hundred-and-one questions firing off at a rapid pace. Food demands and negotiations amid exploding debris from what used to be a clean home. Yet, I will manage to rally the troops and hold down the fort so long as one, simple action can take place: the first glorious sip of coffee. It's not the next one that matters, nor any of the ones that may or may not follow. No, it's that first sip that I keep my sights on. The only one guaranteed to be hot. This singular moment of my day is when I come into my zen; everything going quiet as I close my eyes, breathe in the swirling steam saturated with nutty aromas, and curl my lips over the rim. Slurp. “Ahh...” Pure bliss filled with hopes and dreams of more to come. Girded with a deep inhale, my eyes then burst open, bringing me back to the front-lines of my beautiful, chaotic life. Armed with the knowledge that because I've made it this far, somehow—someway, I'll make it through the end of the war...er, day. I'll make it through the end of the day.

-When B.K. Clark is not wrangling her four children, she's a writer of SciFi, Rom Coms, and Romantic Suspense novels with all the feels. She can be found on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook: @bkclarkauthor .


***

Image: Pixabay

I unscrew the Bialetti and tap the coffee grounds into a bowl, for composting later. I rinse the pot, refilling the base with fresh water. I pop the funnel on and fill with two scoops of Colombian ground from a tin. Lastly, I screw the top on, light the gas and set it on the stove to brew. I immediately pour milk into a pan on the stove, as it’s a race against time to heat and froth the milk before the coffee pot hisses. I begin frothing as the milk is warming. Usually by the first cautionary gurgle the milk has transformed to a thick foam, leaving me a few seconds to pour into my favourite William Morris mug. The next volcanic fizzle requires an expeditious but precise pour down the inside of the mug, before the crema disappears, and ensuring the foamed milk stays intact. Then sit. Sip. And settle.


-Cheryl Watson is on Instagram @curly_chez.


Like a gentle rain, Chopin begins. My brain opens like a flower. The ancient muscles remember. The arthritic bones begin to reacquaint. The notes take my hand and lead my arm into second position. My torso is pulled up by an unseen string which forces my hips to squarely face front. The music flows freely through my veins now. My limbs have been brought to life outside myself. The muscle of memory pulls me upward even if my legs cannot. It is the joy of movement in youth spent in black leotard, pink tights, and pink leather shoes. A balm for the next and the next and the next day of this weary old soul. Chopin concludes. The flower closes. The head bows in gratitude. The ritual of dance remains in the smile that continues to hear the last note.


-Bonnie Shor is on Instagram @bleeshor


...and settle, as our rituals exist to allow. Lean into the creativity of the day.




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