Mocha latte at Zoka's Coffee Shop

“Sometimes I think that the upscale cup of coffee with the foam poured into a little rippled heart is the last luxury a lot of the young here can afford, some of them, and they buy it still.”
— Rebecca Solnit, Infinite City:  A San Francisco Atlas

I, too, see “upscale” coffee drinks as small, but affordable, luxuries.  I indulge myself on occasion, but I’m too frugal to buy them daily.  When I do spend more for a fancy coffee drink, I take the time to savor its specialness.

I’ve been thinking about the L’Oreal commercial that shows a sophisticated woman flouncing her hair, saying she buys L’Oreal (the more expensive brand of shampoo) because she’s “worth it.”  I don’t think my feeling worth it comes into play when I order coffee.  I do mental arithmetic to see if the coffee itself is worth it to me — value and taste vs. price — but my own sense of personal worth doesn’t measure in.  Does it?



“Her own way was to make art out of the very things that absorbed her attention in her own life.”
— William Deresiewicz, A Jane Austen Education:  How Six Novels Taught Me about Love, Friendship, and the Things that Matter

I am loving this book, A Jane Austen Education

I am fewer than 50 pages into William Deresiewicz’s book, A Jane Austen Education:  How Six Novels Taught Me about Love, Friendship, and the Things that Really Matter, and I am already ready to recommend this book!  I love what he says about the lessons in Emma acknowledging that it is the accumulation of “minute particulars” that comprise a life:

“To pay attention to ‘minute particulars’ is to notice your life as it passes.  But it is also, I realized, something more.  By talking over their little daily affairs — and not just talking them over, but talking them over and over, again and again . . . — the characters in Emma were doing nothing less than attaching themselves to life.  They were weaving the web of community, one strand of conversation at a time.  They were creating the world, in the process of talking about it.”

Here are a few of the “minute particulars” of my day so far:

The last of this season's raspberries, fresh picked

Tomatoes ripening on the kitchen windowsill

Coffee shop patron enjoying a warm autumn day at an outdoor table