Times and Changes
There’s a coffee shop in Santa Monica that I often visit when I need to dwell inside of a quiet moment or two. It stands on a street that fascinates me; deceptively quiet - at first glance there’s really not much happening- but I’ve always had the feeling that powerfully unspoken events are taking place somewhere in some dimension or other- as if you could pull back a curtain and find yourself in a different crystal world. Anyway entering 18th Street Coffee House is very much like stepping into an oasis of time past; there’s the quiet hum of voices, the quaint oddly matched furniture and the small charming garden with colorful plants, intriguing knick knacks and the sound of running water. They don’t have wifi and cell phones are frowned upon. The perfect place to sit in contemplation or enjoy a quiet conversation if such is your fancy.
I was sitting in the garden recently, people watching and remembering how six years ago, when we first moved briefly to Los Angeles, my husband and I had sat in exactly the same spot cramming for our California driving test. It struck me suddenly just how much has happened externally in those six short years, most prosaically represented by the fact that a one time driving novice such as myself has clocked up more miles in the intervening time than I ever would have thought possible when living in London or Manhattan. As I mused I could see how, in a sense, I have been running to stand still in the wake of all changes we have been through. It also occurred to me that when the dust settles in the aftermath of such challenges it is crucial to remember that personal change and movement are just as important- even when it feels as though we are engaging in them against our own wishes. I have found, in my singing lessons, that I am almost two people; one who understands the advice of my wonderful teacher when she talks about expression and movement and the synchronicity of the two and one who is seemingly incapable of trying and of moving into a space which feels uncomfortable- bound in illusory chains entirely of her own making. As with everything important this change can’t be brought about by swift assault but rather by gentle and determined effort and so I return each week to my teacher and as I grow increasingly at ease I can feel the chains loosening ever so slightly. All these thoughts and more peppered the air round and about me as I sat in the mystic garden, perhaps such a generous space for painting castles in the air because the 18th Street Coffee House is said to belong to one of the most elusive and greatest lyric tale tellers of our time.
Today is the first birthday of this little blog of mine. Thankyou to everyone who has taken some of their time with me here and read my words- I hope they have brought you something of enjoyment. I’ll be carrying on- you may see some small changes around the site as the months progress- nothing too dramatic never fear. And if you would like to receive the weekly article straight to your inbox then please do subscribe. With love xxx