I serve it up, raw, unprocessed sustenance. Uncooked. Raw meaning unfiltered through a trying to fit-in lens. There is someone or something in “here” besides “the pleaser” I have been “formed” to be. There is a critic in here. I do my best to feed the lover but the critic can make a meal of crumbs and can leave me ruptured for days. There is also an observer; “the watcher”, I am discovering myself. I am feeding the watcher now. I was “Found” this morning; an Aussie flavoured coffee house. Pleasant patio and an organic breakfast is offered. I choose to receive.

A couple is sitting on the patio with a cute little girl child in a sunbonnet and holding her sippy-cup. Their phones are in their hands. A dog accompanies them in a purple jacket and orange collar. The sun warms my left shoulder. RA is behind me all the way on this journey through hell. This morning I gave him the cold shoulder. He doesn’t “mind”.

The little girl child is eating a muffin. She takes her time picking it off in bitty pieces and stuffs it in her open mouth. She reminds me of a baby bird the way her mouth follows her hand or her hand follows her mouth? Not sure. The woman, who perhaps is mom, got up from the table. The man, who maybe is dad, is on his phone scrolling. I observe his fingers. Two persons whizz by on bicycles. I take a bite of oatmeal and a piece goes up my sleeve.

“Mom” is back. She is on the phone. She ends the call and takes the dog around the corner for “a pee-pee”. She and dog return. The little girl child offers the dog a treat from the bag mom offers. They are leaving now. Packing up muffin and the little girl goes in the wagon that was parked behind the fence. Empty plate and cups returned to the establishment. Bye family. You seem like a family to me. I wonder. Back to the oatmeal.


Very good oatmeal. “Pottery for the Planet” pleasing bowl.

I sold myself out. I left a tip. Pondering tipping lately. The barista (one of them) comes out waving a glasses case. I recognize it! It is mine. The glasses are upon my face, but the case is a good one. An open hearted smile and a BIG thank you is bestowed and received in return. A connection is made.

Back to tipping.

Tipping makes me feel obligated I notice. I have an obligation to give something in return, in addition, to the price of the goods/food I ordered. I wonder why establishments don’t increase their staff wages so tipping is not required? I wonder what the wages are here? I have been to a restaurant in the city where tipping was built in to the cost of my meal. I found this liberating. I seemed to enjoy my meal deeply. The price paid for my meal was enough. Essentially, the restaurant served freedom.

I have been a table server. I have been a bartender. Tipping seems weird.

How so?

I believe service is our dharma. What is dharma? I reach for my phone in help to explain. “Reality”. The nature of reality is to serve.

I wonder…

Since penning this piece I have done more research on tipping. A little sample from what the internet served up…. “Tipping originated in feudal Europe and was imported back to the United States by American travelers eager to seem sophisticated. The practice spread throughout the country after the Civil War as U.S. employers, largely in the hospitality sector, looked for ways to avoid paying formerly enslaved workers.Jul 17, 2019”

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