Community is a Cup Made of 1,000 Mundane Drips
The Electric Brew (the coffee shop I work for/live at) opened today at it’s new location, across the street from the old spot. Since Courtney was scheduled to open, I dragged myself out of bed at 5 in order to come in with her. I’m glad I did. As the sun came up, I found myself looking for regulars like, Mike, Harv, Vera, and Rick–friendships that emerged out of a mutual love of coffee and this community we call the Brew. These connections of course didn’t happen over night; I can’t really tell you when they began. All I know is that a joke here and a comment there suddenly turned to this morning’s conversation about experiences with depression and why we so often wait till so late in life (sometimes till the very end of it) to be vulnerable with each other.
You see, community cannot be rushed. Even relationship suddenly forged in tragedy takes years to develop into something with lasting and dynamic substance. There is a checklist of oddities that must be worked through.
- Someone must spill something on themselves.
- Someone must go on a significant geographical or emotional journey.
- Someone must make a life transition.
- Someone must offer a gesture of unwarranted kindness, or at least buy another a cup o’ joe–just because.
- Someone must lose someone close to them.
- There must be some sort of potentially relationship ending disagreement to work through.
- Some event of significance must happen to the community, or the nation–something unavoidably talkaboutable that affects all parties involved.
Then there is that line that must be traversed, an event often only recognized months after the fact.
Like a good cup of coffee, it takes a thousand seemingly insignificant drips to fill a steaming cup.
Consequently, it seems silly when we try to find ways to “create community” because it is so obviously simple, albeit mundane: spend a lot of sometimes awkward, uncomfortable, bumbling, mediocre time together, whether it seems important or not.
Wash, rinse, and repeat until you look up and find something has happened around you that you couldn’t have created on your own.