Yesterday, I walked into our teachers' room where we gather to eat lunch. There are always several newspapers on the table, and conversations sometimes center around story headlines. At the top of the front page of the Vancouver Sun, I saw this photo. "That's Arthur!" I said. I recognized his magnificent tattoos, and then confirmed my identification when I saw the three lattes lined up between his arms. When I wrote the post and took the picture of him in that link, I didn't know his name. I enjoy all the baristras at The Wicked, but Arthur was the first to stand out, and I still love to admire his tattoos as he makes his picture-perfect lattes, each one with the tender attention of an inspired artist.These pictures are photographs of newspaper pics, and very poor quality. This one doesn't do Arthur justice at all, but the staff members at school, who witnessed my immediate recognition, were impressed as they quickly pointed out the article several sections back in the paper.
There were even detailed instructions for doing one's own latte art at home. I tried this morning, but though they make it look easy, I'm still struggling with even a rudimentary image.
I think about my addiction to beautiful lattes sometimes. There are a few cafes about town that I really enjoy as well, perhaps 9.8's to the Wicked's 10. Pinpointing the pleasurable aspects of a latte experience is a lengthy process but I'll try: having a few minutes friendly conversation with the barista, watching the gentle swirling image appear, sipping and savoring the flavor (no one equals the Wicked's flavor), feeling the smooth, creamy texture, and leaving for work or climbing into Bill's truck on weekends, with warm gratitude for all of the good things that came together to make the experience a great life pleasure. Even knowing that dp, someone I've never met, understands the passion, is part of that picture. I do think about my indulgence and realize it's a selfish one, in light of the many who lack the most basic needs. On the other hand, maybe the fact it's so completely appreciated (rather similar to the way dogs fully immerse themselves in their joys) brings the experience a step beyond simple greed. I don't know. Balance in all things, I guess. A recent Ruby Isabella post entitled "Enjoy Yourself" possibly said it best. If you have an extra minute in your day, you can share in another of my pleasures by reading that post.