Caffeine, the Drug I Love ☕

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I hope he says coffee is very healthy due to anti-oxidants.

Today I started listening to Michael Pollan’s new book “Caffeine: How Caffeine Created the Modern World. Michael Pollan is the first author that I have experienced as a book author, a narrator of his audio book on Audible and also on a series of documentaries about plants that have conquered the world “The Botany of Desire” and a series of documentaries about the way cooking changed the world in modern times.

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The written word, the spoken word, and TV seem to be melting into one form of communication.

I’m sure there are other people, but for me Michael Pollan was the first author to do that idea triathlon of written book, audio book, and TV series/video book.

Shaun T would have been the first if I had read his book instead of listening to the Audible version of T for Transformation.

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What is writing really? Putting letters into a sequence communicating thoughts? Beliefs? Life?

Sometimes I wonder if the writers of today are like the philosophers of Greece or if there is a distinction.

Certainly journalists remind me more of historians, and comedy writers of entertainers. But I don’t know the role of the average writer, are we story tellers or are we philosophers or both, can the two be separated?

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Why does journalism seem different? I’m not sure, it does though.

I don’t know, but I do know that I have always loved books and enjoyed reading and it feels like a natural process to be a writer as well.

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Journaling, the free therapy.

To me it feels like our souls eat ideas and desire more and when we digest what we have eaten we write or dance or do something to output the idea we have processed internally. It feels like all art is the same process of finding the path of creativity that we have the least resistance to in response to the inspiration of a world of ideas either from the natural world, the modern world, or in response to the ideas of others.

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For ideas!

I find that I write more easily if I haven’t been reading, but I can also write if I have been reading.

I just feel a bit more grounded in my own ideas after some mental and physical solitude. I enjoy reading, but I can take long breaks without reading as well and kind of listen to the symphony of silence.

Sometimes I miss the forest I grew up in as a child.

In such a loud, busy world, silence can be welcome, at least to me as an introvert.

It’s funny that it depends on if it is expected or unexpected, if I want silence and get it, I may not like it, what matters more if I expected to have it or didn’t expect to have it. At night if something disturbs the silence, I may or may not appreciate it. I remember a tuba player decided to suddenly play a song near by at 4AM on a Thursday one night and I was very amused by the event, it was very well played and kind of interesting. Before it happened I would have guessed that I wouldn’t have liked it, but when it happened I actually found it a bit interesting and it was nice to know the world was more magical than all the things I imagined were probably going to happen. My husband usually doesn’t take both kids, one weekend afternoon he did, it was unexpectedly quiet, I would have thought I would love that, but I didn’t that time.

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The positive thing about not knowing myself well is that more is possible than I imagined was the case.

If anything still interests me about life, the most interesting thing is how wrong I am about myself.

I’ve been watching some cool history series lately, Mankind The Story of All of Us, and some about neanderthals (the relatives we don’t invite to dinner – just a joke) and sure there is a ton I didn’t know, but it doesn’t surprise me since I was never a history major or enthusiast, but what surprises me more is how I continue to not know about myself, not only my past, but my present.

So I wonder about what I am as a writer as a human and if I could become like Michael Pollan, if he is the future of what authors are to be (someone who can write, narrate, or film a series that explains his findings). Or if there are authors who are too introverted to live that way? I don’t have any pressure right now to find that answer, but as more authors run retreats (Rachel Macy Stafford) or sell out venues to talk (Mark Manson) it makes me wonder if things change that way if I will be able to adjust.

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What is the future of information is it all videos or a mixture of text?

Michael Pollan is such a plant lover, and so am I, it’s very enjoyable to read his writing, the way he both acknowledges plants are not people, yet then proceeds to anthropomorphize plants anyways. Kind of like the movie “The Good Dinosaur” which starts by saying dinosaurs didn’t exist at the same time as people, but then makes a fictional story line where the large asteroid that wiped out the large dinosaurs with climate change (the small ones still live as our birds). There is something adorable about the way Michael Pollan retains the joy and wonder of a child, yet has the writing and research skills of an adult. His curiosity of things I’m wasn’t curious about is a bit contagious. I’ll never look at another apple without thinking of Kazakhstan. I like his writing, but the main reason I read his books is because my sister buys them. She has a strength called “ideation” (from the Clifton Strength Finder System) which means connecting dots between very different ideas.

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The problem with “ideation” is drawing links that are not true and don’t serve a helpful purpose.

It’s a cool skill, many times when different scientist work together they solve problems they couldn’t solve alone due to a lack of perspective. Like with the age of the world, Clair Patterson, a geochemist who pinpointed Earth’s age for the first time who needed to first isolate the lead contamination from gasoline pollution potentially poisoning children and adults. Or the periodic table of elements, made by Dimitri Mendeleev, that was defiantly connecting a lot of dots where other people had never seen them before.

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The brilliance of “ideation” is drawing new links that are true or serve a helpful purpose and like a black swan change humanity’s thought process going forward.

I don’t share that skill of “ideation” or making new connections between ideas to the extent my sister does. But we do share a lot of strengths, we share “restoration” wanting to run towards problems and find solutions for them, we share “intellection” liking to think.

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I like to think, but I usually mule over related ideas sorting for truth.

I wonder if we enjoy reading from authors with the same strengths that we have? I don’t know. I know that I have read books that I thought were the key to a good life and worth their weight in gold and when my father or sister (both avid readers) pick up the book they can’t bear to read it. If it was my husband I would just think, he doesn’t care to read. But with my dad and sister they will have read 10 other books, but can’t bear to read the ones that I thoroughly enjoyed.

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It’s nice getting lost in a new world, but there is something more to what books stay in your heart for a life time.

I also don’t like reading my dad’s books, I did as a child, because any book was better than nothing and there were not ebooks. My dad’s favorite book’s plot line was, “cool, but everyday down to earth cop, solves murder and is cool, develops a relationship with an attractive female, but it doesn’t work out because she dies.” I would love to read any other variation of that story, like “nerdy cop solves murder” or “uptight, upper class cop solves murder,” or “gay cop solves murder and marries male love interest” or “female cop solves murder before cool, everyday down to earth male cop can,” or “cop tries and can’t solve murder” or “cop solvers murder, wins girl, but then goes through marital problems, and resolves them into a normal marriage.” I wonder if my dad would like any of the other variations? I would find them hilarious.

I guess my books can be kind of the same story as well. I like Scifi and fantasy, but many of my favorite books can be summed up as “true love conquers all” in a space or made up environment, and violence on the part of the heroes solves almost all problems, whichever problems it doesn’t solve are solved by being super smart, all problems get solved.

Love, unrestrained violence, solutions, closure that’s my imaginary cup of tea, violence is less fun in real life.

My sister has the most diverse taste in books of anyone I’ve ever met, she reads everything we read, but much more.

So as I read Michael Pollan’s new book, I’m enjoying his ideas, his voice, he is a captivating story teller, but I’m a little uneasy that I don’t know if he will present me information that will try to convince me to stop drinking coffee, which I love.

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Very interesting, but I hope you don’t tell me to quit coffee.

I have stopped when I was pregnant, twice, and those were some of the worst months of my life. Possibly because I was pregnant and I have the extra vomit kind of pregnancy that most people will never fully understand unless they saw it or had it.

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I thought I was going to read, journal and perhaps sew baby clothes, but I worked until my water broke at work, vomited and followed up by vomiting more.

I’m at once open minded about living without coffee, because I enjoy being control of what I put in my body, and also terrified I will come across some reason that makes sense to stop drinking coffee.

I also have a coffee plant, so if the problem becomes environmental I can perhaps grow my own coffee. I used to grow my own green tea until my tea plant dried out and died.

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Hypothetically I can grow my own coffee.

Most likely I will just enjoy the book and keep drinking a 12 pack of coffee a week, but there is a small fear any time I read something about something I enjoy consuming that there will be valid evidence that puts what I want with what I think is healthy into a civil war with one another.

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I’m strong enough to quit, but why quit liquid patience?

I’m surprised that having written only 1 book, just an ebook, just for my daughter, last week, that now I am already having fears about what something that lies about 14 years further on a writing journey may possibly hold, but I guess I am.

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I can’t thank you guys enough, for sharing your thoughts and encouragement with me since September last year, the feedback has been helpful and I hope to be transitioning into more cohesive and more challenging this year that I wouldn’t have the courage to be thinking about if not for all the kindness and also inspiration from reading many of the writing from you guys. Thank you so much. I would say happy spring, but some people are in winter, happy beginning of 2020! 🌸

5 thoughts on “Caffeine, the Drug I Love ☕

  1. Margie says:

    I shall come back tomorrow to do a proper read.
    My husband needs my attention now as he has a very bad headache and I need to massage his brow, (that always helps him, )


    • Sakura says:

      Your husband is so lucky to have you. My dad gets debilitating headaches sometimes, I tried doing some stretches with him ( and it worked for us, I also like this one ( This guy doesn’t put pressure on the eyeball, but on the sinus that are in a circle around the eye, three on the top and three on the bottom, he says “pain” but it’s a pressure shouldn’t be hard enough to be pain-pain. I’m hoping to add at least five minutes of massage time into the very end of our day, I was a professional massage therapist and used to massage my husband, but when we had our daughter we didn’t know how to set boundaries about when she could be the center of attention and it feels like forever since I massaged my husband when he didn’t have an official back pain, he hasn’t messaged me voluntarily since I was pregnant with my daughter… thank you for inspiring me to get that habit back into my life either for myself or for my husband. 👍

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovie Price says:

    i love “the Good Dinosaur” and have watched it a few times with my client ( he is 7 and autistic) he doesn’t quite love it as i do and gravitates toward stuff that he has become accustomed to for years. I get so tired of watching Finding Nemo, Secret Life of Pets, and Monsters, Inc. but will have to until he gets sick of sure do read a lot! i can only wish i still did. It amazes me still how much i used to read and how little i do now due o my eye sight and neck pain issues. BUT i still listen to lots of books on disc during my commute to work:)


    • Sakura says:

      The “Good Dinosaur” was my secret delight because at the time I first saw it my daughter was at that exact stage of development, we had a safe large back yard with a ton of fruit trees and she would go out there and have a blast in survival mode from 9-1 PM, but it was hard doing anything civilized such as restaurants. She was my little spot, eating fuji apples, mandarin oranges, and even Meyer lemons. 🦕


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