Sometimes things self-correct…

One of the only vices I allow myself to indulge in regularly these days is the consumption of coffee.  Oddly enough, as a child and then even as a young adult, I always found coffee to be completely unappealing.  Only as I forged ahead into my thirties, did I begin to get on board (and even then, I needed to have the deal literally sweetened with whatever sugary additive was on hand, be it sugar itself, honey, flavored syrups, you name it…).  I later went through a tough-guy, teeth-gritting phase of drinking it black, strong, and bitter, because it made me feel a bit like a lone gunslinger preparing to step through some Old West saloon’s bat-winged doors so I could challenge the assembled throng therein to one last, for-all-the-marbles shootout…

"Say yer prayers, yew low-down, yellow-bellied, lily-livered varmints..."  This is how harsh black coffee used to make me feel (and I admit to having liked it)...
“Say yer prayers, yew low-down, yellow-bellied, lily-livered varmints…” This is how harsh black coffee used to make me feel (and I admit to having liked it)…

Nowadays, I split the difference between drinking my coffee like a hot liquid dessert and drinking it black-and-brutal.  And mostly, I make use of this fancy, new-fangled coffee machine that I received from my mom as a housewarming gift when I moved to LA.  Firing it up and then availing myself of its aromatic bounty is a cherished morning ritual.  Except on the mornings when it very randomly seems to suddenly not work…

I say “very randomly,” which may not be fully correct — it usually corresponds tightly to any decision by the Planet Mercury to go into retrograde mode.  These Mercury retrograde periods are generally thought of as times when things are much more likely than usual to go haywire.  Apparently my coffee machine is a zealous adherent to this notion, and it rarely misses an opportunity to suddenly throw down its work implements and refuse to contribute to the group effort.  The thing is, I, myself, am never the cause of the situation being happily resolved.  It is — happily resolved, I mean — but not because of anything I do.  But nevertheless, despite my lack of curative contributions to the situation, I haven’t yet had to pronounce my coffee machine dead at the scene, file a report, and send it off to the techno-undertaker’s for last rites and a proper burial and such.  And do you know why?  Do you know why I still have that machine?

Because it somehow self-corrects.

Or, okay, maybe my coffee machine doesn't self-correct -- maybe there are little technology-based fairies that sometimes happen by and fix things for us.  I suppose that could be...  But, you know, personally,  I do tend to think it's more just a case of the coffee machine self-correcting...
Or, okay, maybe my coffee machine doesn’t self-correct — maybe there are little technology-based fairies that sometimes happen by and fix things for us. I suppose that could be… But, you know, personally, I do tend to think it’s more just a case of the coffee machine self-correcting…

See, as I’ve mentioned here before in previous posts, I am in no way what you might consider a “tech-savvy” person.  I have a superstitious dread of electricity, I have no idea how computers work, and my fix-it skills in the realm of gadgetry amount to little more than dishing out open-handed slaps and harsh language to malfunctioning equipment, which rarely, if ever, delivers positive results.  I’ve long ago proven to myself that bashing my coffee machine and directing some choice profanity its way will not render it suddenly operable.  But I do have to truthfully report that it always (to date — knock on wood!) somehow manages to bounce back and return to functionality.  This morning, for example: I arose, all groggy and muddled, and I wandered down to the kitchen to partake of the java gods’ gifts…and the machine — which has been working flawlessly for several months straight — suddenly refused to cooperate.  It would blink its lights at me like a tiny little UFO, pretend to start the water-boiling process…and then subside into a sort of frustrating Zen stillness, like a monk plunged too deeply into meditation to even register the advances and overtures of the outside world.  Knowing the ins and outs of this state of affairs as I now do, I fired up some sad instant coffee in the microwave instead, and I returned to my morning affairs…

And about forty minutes later, when I again strolled into the kitchen, I tried once more to fire up the machine…and it worked like a champ, without any sign that there had ever been even the slightest hiccup in its proper working order.

It self-corrected.

Because sometimes things self-correct.

I don’t believe it’s wise to pin all our hopes on things self-correcting, of course — in fact, I’d counsel veering toward the opposite shore most times, that of assuming things will need a fair amount of active encouragement from us if they’re to tumble out in the manners we might desire.  But I’d also suggest leaving room in the old worldview for the notion that sometimes — without any help from us at all — things do self-correct.  Maybe don’t count on it, maybe don’t put too much energy into hoping for it, and maybe don’t get all bitter if it doesn’t happen…but maybe allow for the possibility.  And express some gratitude when it does happen!  Gratitude may just encourage the Universe to repeat whatever maneuvers it made that brought about our gratitude in the first place…

Embrace it:

Sometimes things self-correct!

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