This is how I find books I need to read. I ask myself what is going on in my internal world. What emotions within me I am trying to understand and then I go out and look for stories that will nourish this need.
I recently got out of a four year relationship. Just when I thought I had figured out love and had even started telling my friends that I felt lucky I would never have to date again. The pain of looking for the one companion to live my life with had been dealt with. I even pitied those of my friends who are yet to find someone. I had figured it out!!
And then this. After four years we discover how different our ideas on how to live life are. Our ideologies clashed. We never shared the same values even though we had had so much fun together and achieved many beautiful things. A well run home, fun holidays together, hosting people in our home, great parties with people from all round the world etc. Imagine we achieved all this yet…
I will tell you this, I was ready to give up on love after the break up. It was a big blow to my ego. And so, I went looking for a story that could help me start sorting this mess out. And I found the various flavors of coffee on the street.
The title does not suggest a beautiful story. It is very boring if you ask me. But for some reason, this is what I picked when I went to the street. It just called out to me.
Which reminds me of a class we recently had at Amani Institute. The guest speaker on that day talked about following your intuition especially when making difficult decisions. He told us about being in a bookshop and reaching out for this really ugly book. There was no reason to pick that book yet it has turned out to be a real treasure in his life. He just reached out and picked the book he really needed to read.
Now, please think about this, the seat of our emotions is in the brain too. Thinking with the heart is thinking with the brain too. It just doesn’t render itself to neat analysis. Especially if you want to forecast and control things. When you reach the end of your thinking capacity, follow your heart. So I followed my heart during this difficult period and this is the valuable wisdom I got from the tale. I will directly quote the author…
“I have learned what every man must learn, and no man can be taught- that despite what poets may tell you, there are different kinds of love.
I do not mean that every love affair is different from every other love affair. I mean that love itself consists not of one emotion, but many. just as a good coffee might smell of- perhaps- leather and tobacco and honeysuckle, all at once, so love is a mixture of any number of feelings: infatuation, idealism, tenderness, lust, the friendship, aesthetic appreciation and a thousand more besides- Anthony Capella in his book the various flavors of coffee