As we realized we were in for another snow day this morning, we both lay silent for a while. Then I wondered why the coffee couldn’t just make itself. My husband agreed; he couldn’t see why the coffee didn’t seek self-actualization. Yes, yes, that was it. The coffee needed to become actualized in its potentiality. It needed to become a steaming pot of French press coffee. After all, we’d driven through the treacherous weather to procure a pound of whole beans, and these beans were simply sitting in their paper bag, awaiting fulfillment.
I think we’ve stumbled on a great business venture, he added. Coffee that is able to self-actualize. There would have to be natural materials involved in the process — hemp fibers for filtration, clay pots and mugs that could be smashed back into the earth they’d been dug from. The natural materials would be great for advertisement. It was well and good for him to wax poetic about self-actualization while he was lying there, apparently satisfied with his state of being, sans coffee. But I wasn’t having anything sans coffee.
How? I naturally asked. How is it possible for an inanimate object to self-actualize? What energy source is going to compel it to attain to its highest self? And that’s not to mention the highest selves of the hemp and clay. Quantum entanglement, of course. No, no, quantum entanglement can’t be the answer to everything. It isn’t the mysterious out, the deus ex machina, for all impossible inventions and paranormal phenomena out there. Quantum entanglement might tangle the future with the present or the past, but the fact is that an intelligent energy source has to exist to bring the beans out of their energy dormancy. An active energy must act upon the latent one. So in the future, say, you or I would have to grind the beans and boil the water in order to make the coffee — unless God were involved, and then anything would be possible. God could be the intelligent energy source.
We should market that, my husband said. We should be the first to market the name-it-and-claim it cuppa. One would pray, and the coffee would appear. His only question was whether we should start with coffee beans as the source, or go purer and start with water. Water could be turned into coffee.
The God cup, I whispered. The God cup. That reminded me of a sermon I heard long ago when a Calvary Chapel pastor out at the Applegate preached about da Vinci’s The Last Supper. There, in that painting, the pastor intoned with a certain erudite breathiness, lies a marvelous cup of realism. Let us partake, therefore, of this marvelous cup. But I don’t like realism, I had thought at the time. Realism is like poison to my painted fantasy world. Why, God, why? Can’t this cup pass from me? Wait a second. Didn’t somebody else utter those same words…?
I’ll make the coffee if you take care of the animals, I suggested. There was a silence followed by snide laughter. So I changed the subject. Since this is our second honeymoon, what would happen if two white butterflies rose from the falling snow and flitted across our path? Wouldn’t that confirm everything? For the uninformed reader, a pair of white butterflies had followed us to the altar on our wedding day. White butterflies were a symbol of our relationship. Every time we made great life changes, our paths were crossed by white butterflies. Don’t believe me? I don’t have any witnesses, except for my family members and the 100 or so people at my wedding. But I swear on the ground beneath my feet — that won’t melt away like the snow — that a pair of white butterflies flew in front of my car when I finally conceded to live in this God-forsaken town where my husband had found a new job. And here we are.
Whoa! my husband said, his hand held up in the stop position. Whoa! That was too much for his morning mind, prior to the hemp and clay self-actualized coffee. White butterflies do not appear in the middle of winter, rising from snow. Whoa, just whoa! You’ve gone too far now, Jill.
I always do. I guess I’ll put an end to this right now. And I’ll get up and make the dad-burned coffee. Except that, hopefully, it won’t be.