Muse(ings) 6.5

A coffee shop and conversation on a Monday night. There’s a storm brewing outside and it makes the coffee better somehow.  Behind the counter, she can hold a conversation with anyone. At the counter myself, I can write anything I want. It might get read, it might not. I can share it, I can keep it hidden; it doesn’t matter. What matters is that life is vivid. It is vital. Literally. And I mean literally literally. I have to say that, because literally, like love, is overused and abused as a term. Life, love, and vitality. All go up in flames. Burning like calories.  If the calories don’t burn you just get fat. And if you get fat, you have a hard time running. You get lethargic and everything becomes stale.

Don’t let things get stale. Stale bread, stale coffee, stale life. It’s crumbles and tastes terrible.


Muse(ings) 4

It’s funny how inspiration to write comes and goes. Like now: I have no real inspiration. I don’t even know what to write. I could write about love, and the lack thereof. I could write about coffee and my love thereof. I could write about music, perhaps even offer a review of some new album—though I usually do that while listening to the given album, and I’ve been without a portable music player for months now. It’s quite an experience. I haven’t been without portable music in years.

It seems that the world has its own soundtrack separate from what I hear from my sound isolating earphones—sounds of leaves rustling, of voices in every octave and key—some from people and some from what people have made, and some from what no person could ever craft. I wish I could say that it’s opened up a world of conversations with others that I had forgotten were possible, but that’s not quite true. But it is freeing in its own way. When you don’t have 30 gigabytes of music files you can take with you everywhere you go, you tune in to other things, maybe a radio station playing a new artist worth hearing (thanks for playing Cage the Elephant, WNRN—you stay classy), or maybe just your own thoughts. After all, it can be hard to process your own thoughts when you incessantly drown them out in waves of sound. What serves as inspiration so often can be its own hindrance to expression if applied too liberally. Maybe I haven’t been as intentional as I should be with this opportunity to hear the world’s soundtrack; it has some lovely melodies to be heard—melodies of baby squeals, banana peels, drum fills, and various other thrills.

Speaking of intentionality, I’ve found myself losing such in the last few weeks. Twice I’ve had complete strangers stop me while I was entering or exiting my truck and ask me for a ride to somewhere. Neither person was threatening, but it either time, it struck me as exceedingly odd. Maybe it’s because I’ve never been a man about town until recently, but I’ve never been flagged down by a stranger for a ride before (unless it was a fellow college student on campus at Liberty). Both times, I thought to myself, I should let this be an opportunity to share Christ and be unashamed—after all, if they were unashamed enough to ask a stranger for a favor, couldn’t I be unashamed enough to share what I live for? I don’t know, and I won’t beat myself up too much, but I could have said so much more than “God bless” or “be blessed in the name of Jesus.” I have so much to learn; I’ve asked God for opportunities, and he’s given them, only for me to panic and ignore them.

By the way, for the 20 some people who read my writing without commenting…. you could try commenting—let me know what you like and dislike, what you agree and disagree with, what repulses you or resonates with you.

The Pearl Pt. 2 will hopefully be coming forth soon, but we’ll see. As for Muse(ings) 4, I guess i figured out what to write about.

Muse(ings) 2

It’s funny what music can do to you. It drove me from my favorite coffee shop tonight and to another across town. For at The Muse, I saw girl pants on guys, and brightly colored hair and t-shirts—I thought to myself, I love this scene so often, but not tonight. I had gone to relax and to read and to think, and perhaps even to write. After all, Muse(ings) II is quite due. I pondered my course of action in the parallel parking space for a few minutes. This is my place… why are other people whom I didn’t approve here. I do suppose I can’t in fact make the world work my way.

I have another place I do enjoy, as much for the richness of the building as the coffee, and that is The White Hart. History oozes from the walls of this 1800’s downtown Lynchburg building. ‘twas not always a coffee shop, but must have always longed to be a riverhead of many a man’s thoughts. I read my novel and music begins to play… I left The Muse because of the music… I want to drown in words tonight, not in notes. A rhythm sets in. No, a cacophony. This is awful. I love folk, but they have no cohesion, everything is grating. A voice begins, with clarity and strength—a woman’s voice swimming against the current of a musical river. The voice itself changes the course of the current and the music begins to gel. I appreciate it. The dragon in my book is angered, but villains lie slain.

I’ve written something already on this day, and I know it has been read by the most important of readers. The response is withheld as yet, but my arrows have not yet scared the target into running away.

My mind sings along, we’ve got to come together right now, over me…. Stop hey, what’s that sound… don’t you want somebody to love. I love it. Americana renditions of classics. Perhaps my story will be a modern retelling of classic love stories. Is this a Shakespearean comedy or a tragedy? The tragedy would be to never know.

(The above is part of a series of posts inspired by times at my favorite coffee shop… in this one however, I have cheated a bit… it was written with Muse inspiration but from my bedroom.)

Muse (ings) 1

I’m sitting in my favorite coffee shop in Lynchburg, Va. It’s small, it’s not very busy. It’s in a small college city in the middle of the summer and the students are away. I’m desperately clinging to my college years because I don’t know what is next. When you don’t know what to do after college, pursue a Master’s degree… I’ve been told, anyway.

I say that as if I don’t know what I want to do. That’s actually not true. I know what I want to, just not how to do it. I want to do too much. But I will try anyway.

The thing is, I need to take many steps to make that happen. Some of those steps will be painful. Some of them will be filled with unexpected joy. Some of them might even be backward. But there will be many steps.

I don’t have the calluses on my hands to play the guitar of my life the way I want to yet. I’m confident in so many things, except where the risks would be most rewarding. I guess it’s good to not have a calloused heart in some ways–you feel a little more deeply; but I swear, I do have some scars there, scars I haven’t figured out how to address. Sometimes I want to curse myself for the frustration I cause myself. But I wouldn’t want to change anything that’s made me who I am.

The paintings in here are beautiful. As full of flavor as the coffee I’m enjoying. I want to be that deep. But I don’t like being vulnerable.

I’m delusional, but I don’t care.


You know how Starbucks has those coffee cups made from recycled material with quotes on them? You know – the ones that you agree with until you realize you hate the person who said it?

Well. My town doesn’t have a Starbucks (I know, *gasp*)… BUT we do have a Daily Grind (actually, a lot cooler atmosphere than most Starbucks). They have these clear cups for their cold drinks called “Greenware.” Made completely of plants and entirely biodegradeable. I thought “How awesome!” Yup…


That’s it. Right up there. So, I was looking at it while at the coffee shop. I’m like “Cool… it’s practical and better for the environment.” Never mind that paper cups are also entirely made of plants… who knew? Yup. This is great. And you know what else I noticed? A website address. Yup. If you look close you can see it toward the bottom. It made me realize something: Al Gore got his environmentalism from Bill Clinton. “WHAT?!” you ask. And I tell you: Think about it…. it’s all in the website. It begins with “f”, ends with “k” and has a dash in between… obviously a reference to Clinton’s presidential practices. He’s behind these environmentally safe cups. Al Gore owes everything to Bill!!

Also, Al Gore, you are the man. You’re an inspiration to enviroment-lovers everywhere. Anyway. Just thought I’d share some greenery. Here’s one of Al’s lovers… err… followers.

(^ Parked outside my office yesterday as I left)
You probably can’t read the license place small text. On the left, it says Senator. The bottom text says “Clean Special Fuel.” You can see the vehicle. Thanks Mr. Senator for driving a vehicle that really helps America. Never mind that it’s still an SUV that probably gets no better mileage than a regular car; it’s the thought that counts. Also, I’m proud that you decided on a Lexus. Really, I am.

Cheers. I raise my Hazelnut Java Cooler to the environment.