Food for Thought-The Sarajevo Treatise (The Eighth Letter)


1 May 1957
Belgrade, The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Late Evening of the Great Workers Holiday

Dear Hero, Colleague, and Friend,

Travel was made difficult today! Do you remember the time I was forced to dismount my bicycle because the Slovene* himself was approaching? It is hard enough to move when he is about in person, let alone when everyone is carrying his picture. I am a simple person in search of a walk. Having asked hard questions of Mr. Broz* face to face, I see little value worshiping his image.

As you are aware, I was denied the opportunity to seek breakfast beyond my home. I drank coffee which I prepared. Coffee, when made for one, is such a solitary affair. I remember a Turkish treatise, catalogued under a similar title, once available in the library in Sarajevo*. The author, a Grand Vizier* for Beans and Espresso Beverages (BA Kenya, MA Zanzibar, DPhil Istanbul)*, described the immense sense of interior isolation at preparing coffee for himself after having prepared drinks for the Sultan and his retinue. The utter hopeless of a single cup for one could not compare to the grand spectacle of hundreds of cups dispersed throughout the palace. His challenge, as he once told, was to imbue his own actions with a sense of ritual and purpose. His water was sacred, his spoons were of exquisite value, the finely ground coffee which slept behind the doors of his cupboard waited for his expert touch. These realizations saved him from insanity; so say the residents of the French mental asylum who knew him in later years.

Perhaps, when the noise of the parades begins to fades I may again listen to the small sounds behind the sounds, where the Picus Viridus* continues to hide. Like the Grand Vizier, are there simple steps we must retrace or habits we have easily forgotten that keep us from hearing what is outside our windows?

Until tomorrow, my friend.

Yours truly,

*Slovene Josip Broz Tito dictator of Yugoslavia
*Mr.Broz the same said dictator of Yugoslavia
*National Library of Bosnia was once a great repository of Ottoman Texts
*Grand Vizier A Title of Ottoman Turkish Authority
*BA Kenya, MA Zanzibar, DPhil Istanbul Degrees and Universities with well-known undergraduate and graduate programs in coffee studies
*Picus Viridius The Common European Woodpecke