Comfort. A word familiar to us all. On the surface, comfort is a state of ease, convenience, solace. The American vernacular is, in fact, comfortable enough with the word that we’ve turned it into a noun when placed in front of certain words: comfort food, comfort level, comfort zone and the like. Our need for survival has evolved, more so socially in recent years perhaps, to extend far behind the basic three for surviving life. Food, water and shelter keep us alive and thriving but what keeps us sane and grounded and engaged is our personal definition of the word. Comfort.
We see it on the billboard ads for our favorite soft drinks. We see it on a stroll in the park in the afternoon in mid-May. We see it in a café on a snowy morning in December. We see it everywhere we turn, someone finding comfort in or on the things around them. Comfort is a bowl of spaghetti or a cappuccino with extra foam. It is a nap on a lazy summer day or a Sunday cocktail with two olives. It could be a run across the Williamsburg Bridge or a run to the corner deli for a pint of Ben & Jerry’s.
Comfort is the essence of who we are, truly as living beings. Comfort, for the most part, is not necessary for survival but it is essential to human nature and it keeps us moving forward even when it is simply a break in between. The challenge, naturally, is finding comfort even when uneasiness seems to be all around. To put it plainly, that large cup of coffee with room one buys every day before facing the hectic work schedule is comfort in knowing that the job may be hell but this cup of coffee keeps me sane. And that’s what comfort is. Its finding solace, a piece of sanity if you will, amongst humans’ most pressing journey: navigating life.
And so, with that said, here’s a little piece of my comfort:
Writing when no one’s watching. Drinking coffee quietly in the middle of a crowded room. Women with eyes that smile. Blueberry Pancakes with Maple Syrup. When the bass drops. Picking scabs. Beyoncé before the ring was on it. Eating a messy sandwich awkwardly in public. Sylvia Plath on a good day. Louie C.K. on a bad day. Extended bathroom visits. Large glasses. Stretchy sweaters. Gurgling babies. Recognizing a familiar voice. The sound of bubble wrap as it pops. The feel of wet sand escaping through the spaces of my fingers. The smell of a firecracker just after it burst. The Park in early spring. My comfort. My sanity.