in search of…a cozy place

I have just now posted a poem sent to me by a friend and fellow writer/film maker–Glynis Boyd. I am especially fond of her work. She is an African-American poet and budding film maker who, like so many other colleagues, finds the time in her busy schedule to write. I admire that. In my mind’s eye, I see Glynis get up extra early in the morning to pen her soliloquies. At other times, in my imagination, she isolates herself in a coffee shop or book store writing feverishly.

If she were here, or perhaps she reads this blog entry about her, she might say that writing is not the romantic event I envision. You see, we write while we are driving in traffic, stuck in line at the grocery story, while waiting to speak to our grandchild’s principle, at the beauty shop, at the barber shop, at work, at of course early in the morning and late at night.

The point, I think we all agree, is that we write. So please check out her poem “When Things Change” published on My Blog Page. It is especially endearing to me–and I’m sure it will touch others who are going through, as I go through–a painful transition. May God bless Glynis for her work, her dreams, her courage.

May God bless all of us who have chosen to write instead of pursue other careers. We know going into it that it ain’t gonna pay no bills, at least right away. And we know that our friends and many of our family will not understand why we do what we do. They will see us as slothful and lazy and many will refuse to help us. We will be ostracized and condemned by those who used to claim they loved us…loved us until we began to dedicate ourselves to the art of writing for the love of it, and their love dwindled up and withered away.

I pray for us all tonight. I haven’t written a poem in a while, but a poem is still living inside of me. I feel its heart beat from time to time and occasionally I feel it move and kick in my womb. It is only a matter of time before I will have to push and the poem will be born. In the mean time, I keep up with my Lamaze classes and hope for the best. I do not want to carry all this around for 9 months only to give birth to air. It doesn’t seem fair.

So in the meantime, I practice timed writing, just like Goldberg and Barnes suggested. Here’s an excerpt from a recent 20 minute jag:

Boy, oh boy, do I miss the Starbucks Coffee Shop that used to be open at the corner of Fall Creek Boulevard and College Avenue. It has regrettably been closed for over 2 years now, but when it was vibing, it was a great place to hang out. Both the coffee connoisseur and the casual people watcher could watch the world go by through the huge window panes that faced east and south. Oh, to be at this Starbucks in the morning. I could  never understand someone in such a hurry in the morning that they could not spare ten minutes to soak in that sunshine filtering through the dirt that caked these windows.

This Starbucks was charming, quaint and cozy, with a long, padded banquette and lots of plug in places for laptops and electronic devices. Let’s face it, nothing says cozy to a writer than a quiet corner where they can take their laptop and spend the morning into afternoon into evening into night.

Ahhhhhhh. As I recall, there was a cozy corner and a semi-cozy corner. In the cozy corner sat two overstuffed chairs, an ottoman and a small coffee table. Beside one of the over-stuffed chairs was a newspaper/magazine rack, that was always overflowing the magazines and cross word puzzle books. The coffee shop accommodated about 30 people comfortably and this weary traveler would find her way there at least twice a week.

The small, round laminated tabletops in the Starbucks on Fall Creek were set in a wooden checkerboard pattern, meant to accommodate two people. It was nothing to see couples intimately leaning into each other over one of these smooth covered tables at any given time, sharing coffee and gossip and secrets with each other. Original pieces of fine art graced the walls and local artists bid to have their pieces hung from time to time. Nora Jones or Nina Simone’s voice would float overhead over the P A system. Pot lights in the ceiling gave the warm rich colors on the walls a comforting glow.

Remembering this coffee shop makes me nostalgic for the experience again. I even think how lovely it would be to have my dream coffee shop. It would be a wash of colors, sounds, fabrics, pets and plants and it would be a cozy place for writers to come and write to their hearts’ content. I will have it some day, I just know it. In the meantime, I will haunt other Starbucks, Mo Joe’s and Perk Up until I find the place where my spirit can come to rest each week. As many of my readers know, I am often in Panera’s Bread on the far east side. Panera’s is a good place to write and curl up in a cozy corner, if timing is right.

But regardless if I’m downtown, east side, west side, north side, fountain square or wherever, the point is to continue to write. Inspiration, and coffee, is everywhere. You bring your own cream for flavor.

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