Friday, November 9, 2012
Well, it has been a long time. We moved over to Wordpress a couple of years ago, had some trouble over ownership rights (which, had I been more patient, could have been entirely avoided), and basically shut down the blogging aspect of BFC&T. The last post, which is still up on our website (which is "under construction" for the umpteenth month in a row), was loving towards our neighbors, but a bit snarky towards industry folks. I cannot remember the reason for the snark, but, industry folks, if you're still out there, I do apologize. One thing that happened was our roaster (the machine) caught fire. This led to my burnout on pretty much all things coffee. I just wasn't interested in doing anything with it -- which is problematic when you own a coffee shop. I kept the status quo, handed off the roasting to a trust associate, did some baking, kept on teaching at the local college, and went to seminary (plus had another kid). I kept busy, but I always had this nagging suspicion that I should care, really care, about what I was doing. But I couldn't bring myself to that point: the damage, I thought, had been done; I just needed to look for my exit, preferably into academia. Funny thing is I found out that burnout comes wherever you're at. The trick isn't finding the "thing" that keeps you satisfied at all times, whether in love or work or play, but to push through, to take some breaks and refresh, and to actually love whatever it is that you put your hands to. Now, when I say "love," I don't mean some sort of passionate engagement: anyone who has loved knows that there are times when the emotions, the excitement, and the drive just aren't there. Real love, though, can blossom in those times: "Love isn't blind" as Chesterton says in Orthodoxy, "Love is bound; and the more bound it is, the less blind." We bind ourselves to things (interestingly enough, 'binding' in this sense is behind the word 'religion') no matter what circumstances and we seek to do them justice and to encourage and enable their flourishing. Passion will, from time to time, arise in that context: but it is by no means the foundation, nor the main driving energy. Rather, a sense of commitment, boundedness, is. It took me too long to remember that. But here I am...and the burnout has passed. It took a long time, but it is gone. I'm tired, certainly, but a little fatigue is nothing when you are committed. I'm back at roasting, I'm back at working on the details of brewing (the details, in the end, are what I love the most), I'm attempting to not totally fail as a manager and employer, and I'm looking forward to what the shop, and this community, can do. It is good to be home.