reserv·ātiō /28 - 1/2
PART ONE of TWO
My coffee shop is in New York or that kind of a city. It is large, with high ceilings, columns, and metal beams like railroad tracks, in dark grey - dark green: that indefinite hue. I am looking at it from the perspective of sitting at the back and looking at the main door in front of me. Outside, the city is bustling and noisy but inside it’s peaceful and quiet. Large windows, large door, all in glass. The coffee counter is on the right-hand side, that kind of old Viennese dark type and gilded, with a high display of cakes and the steam of the coffee machines and then people working behind it wearing long aprons. There is a similar place in Triest, with chocolate towers and cakes and Sacher Torte. My coffee place is that kind of old Irish venue in America, where police officers mingle. The one you would see in the movies.
On the left-hand side: tables. Large, wooden, tall. The locations are such that the vibes are different but also perfectly mixing. One might remind you - by the colour scheme - of a bistro in Paris: dark reds and Art Deco images on the wall. The tables are so large that one can open the laptop and also a newspaper… and people are obliged to sit, work and mingle together. It’s a library with a coffee shop - basically. Or a bookshop within a coffee shop. People come to read, write, study and exchange ideas. I am the owner, sole owner; but I am there also writing, studying and looking at people. I am there to suggest books, stories, things and places to look at; and where to go for one's research. The food we offer is exceptional! Amazing warm soups and warm bread; salads: healthy and colourful; cakes, coffees and herbal teas; whiskey and some wine; apples and freshly pressed orange juices… Oh, I can taste that on my lips.
I'm so excited now that I am writing about it! I am basically writing with my eyes closed because I am doing a visualisation exercise to encounter my Persona. In Jungian terms, this is our public personality and the face we show to the world. The persona is the mask through which we get to know each other and interact with each other. It is a compromise between what society expects of us and our own inner personal identity. It is the true carrier of our essential being into the world. It is through the persona that the world comes to know us, not through our inner life [see the Jung Platform HERE where I got this exercise from].
PAUSE A SEC : how is your coffee place?
Do you want to jot down some ideas?
Moreover, my coffee place does not allow for mobile phones. There is some sound in the background. People are here to commune, not to isolate. It’s warm and cosy. I’m at the back: there is a darker area on my right. I'm not sure what it is all about: there are like… boxes and trays; it’s the place where whoever works goes there, where the cleaning stuff is. It's closer to the toilet. It’s one-ninth [if not even less] of the whole space. But it’s there.
All is good within, but I went straight into imagining that something bad might happen: there are homeless people and beggars, threatening the place, soiling it. Scaring the customers. They are piling up outside. I am also thinking: why there is no nature, no sea, no trees?! What does this image say of me? I know that there are plants around the counter, but when have I put them there?
And: what is the coffee representing?
Normally, it is said that people choose as a location a place where they lived when they were young. I choose New York or a bustling city where, allegedly, I should be more comfortable. I have never been to New York but I love the portrayal of that city in Woody Allen's movies or in some of the books I read. It's the city of the dreams coming true, of all possibilities, of Only Murders in the Building and Castle & Beckett. It's the city of Phyllis Curott's Book of Shadows... If I make it in New York, I can make it anywhere! I have been to Paris and London multiple times and I find it "strange" that I haven't chosen a large European city I like and know where to set my coffee place instead.
The atmosphere and connectedness are definitely my main values together with education / reading / studying / self-developing, intending to learn first and then teach. It's a kind of trickle-down system that I envision. I portray both introvert and extrovert qualities since I own the place, I am there to read and write in silence but then also give a hand. Since I am not hiding, I am more extroverted. The customers represent the people I want to mingle with, the members of my tribe: students, writers, intellectuals, readers of printed newspapers, journalists, teachers, professors... that's my tribe.
As trading hours as being the time that I feel more productive, I saw the place open 24/7 but my very first response was imagining the smell of coffee very very early in the morning. There is something about the first poured espresso that makes all the difference. I find something about the noise and smell of a bustling Italian coffee counter at a train station early in the morning fascinating! All of this is very intriguing since I dream of getting up early but instead I sleep in every single day!
The next reading of the scene was interesting: what do I offer in my coffee place? Space and connections, silence and knowledge. Yes, I provide space, time and knowledge for people to flourish. And then, I send them out into the world... why do people come back? Because literally and figuratively I offer fresh connections and the perfect bite: succulent, watery, fresh, and nourishing. Well, if you don't know about the perfect bite, here it is: on the fork, you should always have something warm and cold [chargrilled steak and a slice of cucumber] and also something salty and something sweet [again, the meat and a slice of tomato...]. That's the perfect bite! Or, in the morning: a sweet hot coffee and a tuna sandwich... just perfection!
Now, for the coffee: what does it represent? To me is a ristretto, the tear of coffee, the essence, the kernel of truth. Addictive. It is revered and cherished. The spoon is delicately placed on the right side of the saucer, next to the handle of the demitasse. It’s a ritual. It’s devotion and dedication. It’s the blend of a perfect cup and perfect coffee, perfect temperature, acidity… balance. Coffee is a work of art. Coffee needs to be cherished, cared for, studied, and revered. Paid attention to.
One thing I realised in this exercise is that if I’m not able to perform in that way [open and free to provide all of this hypothetical coffee place] and if I don't take the time to care for the "coffee", I feel castrated, blocked and my essence is withering. I become dry and the whole operation does not work. My coffee place is a blend and if I cannot offer the blend, it’s not me.
But then: what's with all those negative thoughts? My automatic delayed reaction was then imagining all those things that could go wrong. IT IS A FUCKING DREAM! This was just a visualisation: why can't I just envision beautiful things? In my negative thinking, the issue is not me, my coffee or my place and space. Albeit within my visualisation exercise, it’s the others on the outside, the ones outside of my tribe, those homeless, addicted, drug dealers who might even sneak inside… and it feels they are doing it almost on purpose because they were not there before.
Well, doesn't this remind you of something I wrote before?!
More tomorrow for PART TWO.
so, onwards + upwards > out + about
* you might want to have a look at
JS Bolen's Artemis. The Indomitable Spirit in Everywoman and
C Pinkola Estés' Women Who Run with the Wolves and
Julia Cameron's The Artist Way and
anything from Carl Jung!
Date : 9 NOV 2023
Duration : ----
Location : home
Weather : too cold to go out
T : cold & v damp
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