I can pick from so many things to write about and I want to see it all related and tied together like how Einstein tried to formulate the equation that represents the universe. He had this notion of a Unified Field of Theory – aka Theory of Everything (TOE).
A unified field theory would reconcile seemingly incompatible aspects of various field theories to create a single comprehensive set of equations. Such a theory could potentially unlock all the secrets of nature and make a myriad of wonders possible, including such benefits as time travel and an inexhaustible source of clean energy, among many others. According to Michio Katu, a theoretical physicist at City College, City University of New York, those in pursuit of a unified field theory seek “an equation an inch long that would allow us to read the mind of God.”
As a writer I need to see the relationships of everything. To me, these relationships give meaning to existence.
I am proposing my Theory of Everything to be a cup.
I was inspired last year to write a poem about a cup. I never wrote the poem, but like one of those inspirations that is shelved and left alone to collect dust – it lingered and fell from out of the blue.
The expression arrived in the form of a sympathy card that I wrote to a friend for the loss of her mother last January. I couldn’t focus on my work until I had found the card, signed it and sent it. It’s funny how a deep inspiration just nags when it’s been put off for so long.
I walked to the coffee shop of an office building. This coffee shop is a gem. It is located at the back of the former Variety building on Wilshire (across from LACMA). What makes it a treasure for me is their espresso machine. There is not one coffee shop within a 10-15 minute walking distance of the office that serves the delights of an espresso machine. They also have a substantial collection of greeting cards and magazines. On days when I want to tune out for a little while I go to the coffee shop and just day dream over a latte with 3 espresso shots.
That day I went to find a sympathy card, but I could not find any. The next best choice was a decorative card without words. The most generic card I chose was a graphic design of 5 cups stacked on top of one another. Back in my office I stared at the blank space and thought of what I wanted to say. I remember writing something to the effect of “… her life was well lived. Her lips kissed pressed upon the rims of cups from which she drunk the rainbow of life’s experiences: beauty, joy, pain and suffering…” I imagined her mother drinking cups of coffee or tea in her different moods, whether alone or with company and in different places.
Think of the times you caressed the surface of your favorite cup as your thoughts drifted and the aroma of your coffee or herbal tea infused your sense of smell. That moment is imprinted in your heart. I know it, because I can remember that feeling, that moment when I inhaled then exhaled. That pause in your day was shared with the cup. That pause happens like the periods in our day when we take a break.
My mug at work has a deep brown stain along the waterline. It is brown from the tannins of the tea and oils from the coffee. I surprise myself at how I don’t bother to rub away the stain with some special cleaner or just elbow grease. Some people would probably shirk away from using my cup. Good. Stay away from it. It’s my cup and it’s my theory of everything.