02 December, 2010


backdate: 1 December

A guy with an archetypal Arizona prospector's beard - brown shirt, darker vest, cowboy hat and clear gaze - shares a table with a kid in a grey hoodie A couple days ago, i saw young folk with rat-tail braids, while a guy in head-to-toe hunter's camo sat two tables away. The sign out front, a bather relaxing in a steaming coffee cup and surrounded by trees and hills, reads "Macys European Coffeehouse". 

The coffee here is great, the menu boards written in deliberate chalk and peppered with sayings from the Baha'u'llah; the owner of Macy's is a skilled photographer, his work displayed in the cafe, and by all appearances Baha'i as well. "Ye are all the leaves of one tree, and all the fruits of one branch," it reads, a foot or so below "avocado BLT, made with tempeh bacon". Which was rather tasty. 

In search of an ATM, i wander across the street to Biff's Bagels. Brightly sunlit, the place isn't nearly as funky; there are no rich wood tones, instead framed photographs of patrons' dogs on (it seems) every square foot of wall. It's wonderfully welcoming in its own way, and i want to soak in some of that sun instead of languishing in dark walnut-colored wood - but i'm already set up at Macys, and can only afford to drink so much coffee. 

Again this morning i wonder how worthwhile it is to spend this time writing, when what i write is at times as devoid of meaningful nourishment as a croissant. Like a croissant or Danish - which the Danes call a variety of names, so let's say - spandauer, i suppose it has a place. With mocha, something indulgent. Still, i wonder what it would be like to write something as concentrated and intent on meaning as, say, Gibran's "The Prophet", instead of crafting sentences as worthless as "I think it's a new reality in Washington, and everybody knows that," which i just heard on some news-talk show in the airport. Words beckon from the margins of my notebook. The only thing i am sure of is that this daily practice serves as mental calisthenics, a stretching, a seeing whether the words fit together quite right, whether they are ready for motion. That to a practicing writer, no sentence is wasted. Writing this blog is a way to put my thoughts into some half-publishable order. 

Still, that i continue to question the worth of keeping a blog signals that perhaps it's time to practice writing to different ends, to invest my writing time in new ways. A long hiatus may follow.