How To Think About Stuff While Walking and Drinking Coffee

As I was walking back from lunch today with my caramel macchiato disappearing quickly through my straw, I thought about how the woman at the counter smiles, every time, the same smile. She knows what I'm going to say, but still, just in case, she asks me what I would like. And everyday I order the same thing.

And for some reason that made me think about communities. As I continued to walk, it occurred to me that there are two kinds of communities (although I admit there are many more than just two.) One is formed by happy accident, sewn together by our habits, our addictions, or our routes to work. These are the kinds of communities weaving us together with threads of circumstance, proximity, and convenience. We serve each other because it's easy. We interact with each other because we're in the same place and the same time. These types of communities are not chosen. I don't think "Gee. I'm joining a community," when I walk up to the counter and order my daily tall iced caramel macchiato. So, there are the communities that you take part in maybe without even noticing them. And these are also good because when you do notice them you can appreciate them and think how wonderful it is that you've secretly been interacting within a fellowship of all sorts of people and you didn't even know it. But now you're pretty sure that the barista's smile as she hands you her beautiful caffeinated creation is something that helps you get through the rest of your day with the monsters. And you hope that your smile and your cheerful thank you helps her through the rest of the drinks she has to make. 

And then there are other kinds of communities. The ones you choose to be a part of. And they take some work. I'm thinking in particular of the expat community here in Korea. It existed for me mostly online, and even then it wasn't something I really participated in. I was on the outside, even from an internet standpoint, too shy to comment or too ready to say exactly what I thought. But when I made an effort to meet these fabulous people in person, it was worth it. Yeah, yeah, blah blah blah, we've heard it all before, you say. Well, perhaps. But.  I wanted to be a part of something and it was work, actually. Every time those people get together it's at least an hour away from my house, and it's usually time I spend away from Kenny and time I spend not doing laundry or reading or writing or various other things I could use as excuses. But it's always worth the effort. And I find that it's the communities you work to be a part of that nurture us and help us to grow the most. It's communities like this that come together and support people in need. It's communities like this that teach you how to laugh at life and at yourself. It's communities like this that make your life richer and deeper. 

Actually, this isn't at all what I wanted to say. I thought it out and I wrote some notes down in the front of the collection of short stories I'm reading on the train, but it came out all wrong. Oh well. Participating and being part of communities and sharing goals or interests or weirdness or whatever- it's always worth the effort. 

Anyway, watch this video. Because it will make your life better. Guess where I found it? Oh yeah, it was over at Tamie's blog. I'm going to have to make a tag soon so that you can look at all the places I've linked to her blog over the course of the past few months. It's getting a little ridiculous and she probably thinks I'm some crazy stalkerish person who reads every post in a pose of anticipation and excitement, never goes away unsatisfied, but does have to cleanse herself of the envy that constantly rises within because her writing is just. that. good. Well, if she thinks that, then she's right! Anyway, watch this video. It's as awesome as you are. 


  1. Aw, that video was so sweet. Thanks for sharing that. They did an amazing job with the sound! All the effects were so crisp.

  2. Caramel Macchiatos are a source of caffeine. Caffeine is good.

  3. I stumbled upon your blog by hitting "next blog" on my own blog. Ha! I stayed her way longer than I expected. Fun to read! And I love the "Validation" movie. Thank you!!


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