The astonishing light

A sweet little coffee shop opened up in the neighborhood, the kind of place I prefer to patronize over the corporate-backed big guys. However, I got a large iced coffee this morning and it cost five dollars. Five dollars. THis is ludicrous, and so very New York.

By contrast, last night we spent twenty dollars apiece for an evening of live music — a tribute to Portishead that featured a chamber orchestra, six vocalists, a dj and a theremin … look it up … An evening of live entertainment for the smallest denomination one can withdraw from an ATM is a lovely thing. Listening to Portishead brings me back to 1999, to my apartment on Charles Street and my early days at Random House. To the calm before the storm that was to come two years later.

There is so much, so much, so much wrong in the world right now. There always has been, but we weren’t bombarded by news and images the way we are now. I suppose being aware is the better scenario, but the combination of awareness and powerlessness is a tough pill to swallow. Striving to be kind and gentle and tranquil in our daily interactions is the best most of us can do – create peace in our own lives and hope that it spreads. Much easier said than done, but something to bear in mind. On a global level, many of these conflicts are so deeply rooted that they will remain until the end of days.

Tranquility is one of my favorite words.

I had a conversation with a friend recently about the fact that we dislike the question “What do you do?” in polite conversation with new acquaintances. Because what we do is not always what we want to do, and what we want to do and like to do are much more indicative of who we are. Does that make sense the way I just wrote it? THat’s been my go-to polite conversation question lately – what do you like to do? or How do you spend your time? Try it. People tend to respond well. And, in my case, I get to avoid the glazed over look that comes with people talking about jobs within industries of which I should have a working knowledge but probably don’t.

I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astonishing light of your own being. -Hafiz

That, right there, is my wish for you all. Truly.

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