A Messy Post: Why I Blog

I’m going to go on a more-than-norm personal spiel here.

Writing is the one thing I can do no matter what state I am in. Exhausted? Still have the energy to write. Stressed? Write about it. Ideas? Write them down. So on.

I don’t need a blog as an excuse to write. No one really does. I journal almost every day in the form of letters.

So why do I blog, then? There are a few reasons. The first is that because I do love writing so much, I want to be better at it. It’s one thing to keep a journal that only I read; it’s something entirely different to write something you know will be read by others. I’ve always been a creative person and crave the creative outlet.  I go to a liberal arts university, so essays are our primary form of submitted work, but a lot of times those are so intellectually based that there is little room for creativity. The elaborate beauty of words cannot be woven in and out through the density of the material. I cannot breathe into life the matter; it is already pulsing there and the mere task that is granted is to build, not to create. In an essay I am asked to gather the sturdy rocks and lay them back into their foundation, organizing them in such a way that is new to the outsider’s eye but is doubtfully something that has not been done before.

See what I did there? C.S. Lewis is great at that. Words, words. Words are so beautiful. I know the content of my blog is neither particularly rich nor fulfilling, but anyhow, that’s not my goal. Do you remember analyzing books, poems, and other various texts in school? Remember how you are asked to analyze and analyze, find hidden meaning in all corners of the writing, dig up the bones of the material, and subject yourself to the mentality, the concealed inspiration of the author? Yes. It is mysterious, mystical, and magnificent.

Maybe I can be noticed for writing one day. This is a subtle and currently weak goal of mine, but it a goal, none the less.

Blogging forces me to organize certain ideas and thought bubbles that I may want to implement into my job one day. It forces me to focus; it wakes up my mind to the critical dedication our humanity has labored over, sweating as the arms aside their backs draw the tool up off the ground and propel it in front of them in an endless circular motion, shaping the way we all think, believe, behave, and communicate. Writing forces focus, strain, and dedication. It is innovative and creative. It can both give life and draw it out of something. It is unique, objective, subjective, and everything that makes up wonder, simplicity and complexity all in a single act.

Will Write. To Write. Writing. Written.

Peace.

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Serj Books

Dallas, Texas

Well, it is quite a feat to say that I have finally arrived here. I took the DART for the first time in a long time and while that in itself wasn’t an issue, the wind that made me victim of unnecessary hair torment. That is okay, though. There are more important things to worry about.

The barista at the counter has a crazy weird Chicago accent and wears bright red glasses that somehow fit his assertive  yet caring personality. He goes in and out of the wide black door with the magician’s purple curtain to go to and from the inside of the counter/kitchen to the rest of the restaurant. Conversations are blunt:

“How’s your Americano?”

“Good, it’s delicious.”

“Good, I’m glad you like it. Hey you, over there, how are you?”

“Huh?”

“I’m checkin’ on you. How you doing?”

“Oh, good.”

I can hear the rhhhuuummmmm of the DART just outside the widows as it takes off and goes every so often once again.

The music here is much more upbeat than your typical quaint coffee shop; distinct 50’s and 80’s sounds fall out of the speakers. Serj Books does nothing less than make a statement. But, what else can you do in the middle of Downtown Dallas? The walls are crafted with wooden brick and the tables have a royal purple cloths draped over the surface. Books on display are scattered on shelves along the walls, and all bear strange names and unusual covers. They make me want to both pick them up and flip through the pages and shout out to all those in the small shop, “WHAT DO YOU THINK THIS MEANS?!”

I could have a lot of fun here. That’s the thing about Serj, though: It is not exactly what one would call a good study space. Instead, it’s a place for being with people, philosophizing, discussing all things good and bad about your day while doing an occasional jig to the music that floats in the air. It’s a place for listening, for speaking, and for telling jokes. Laughing is encouraged. Using WiFi to isolate yourself from the rest of the world is not. The barista smugly tells his very lame and wonderful joke as you order. I’ve been sitting here for  healthy chunk of time and let me tell you, he tells it with the same gusto for every single customer.

Where do animals go when their tails fall off?
The retail store. 

 

Java Me Up

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Irving, Texas

I picked up a little collection of writings on display as I waited for my Something With Cream at Java Me Up, the coffee shop I had searched so long for.  Grub Street Grackle, it read. The Grackle is Dead. Long Live the Grackle! There was a light coffee stain on the front of the paper cover on the small, handcrafted booklet. I opened it up and flipped to a page about miniature black holes- according to the entry, a patent was filed in Japan on a “Personal-Sized-Black-Hole-Powered Light Reduction Apparatus.” Drawn into the passage, I didn’t even hear the barista come up behind me and set my Something With Cream on the table beside the book.

“Are you ready for this?” She smiled as she took the paper wrapper off the tip of the green straw in my Something. “It’s pretty unique…”

“What is it?” I laughed and took a sip of the mystery drink. Ha! It was spectacular.

“It’s French Toast.”

This place knew how to please me, that’s for sure. “It actually tastes like french toast!”

“Yup,” the barista smiled, clearly proud of her creation, as she went to attend to other customers. “It sure does.”

So now there’s a week until finals and I’ve managed to find myself lounging on a worn, greenish-yellow chair surrounded by magazines, tea, and local artwork in the corner of a little coffee shop right next to the neighborhood library as I’m drinking the one-and-only French Toast Cappuccino. I’m an hour and 16 minutes (give or take) away from the school and $14 shorter (couldn’t leave the Grub Street Grackle behind). My essay remains unwritten, my math problems uncalculated, and my laundry unwashed. But sometimes you just gotta get out and explore, you know? Take chances, even if all that chance is is finding your way to that coffee shop you’ve been thinking about for days and leaving your drink in the hands of the barista who would love nothing more than to create something “interesting” and “new”. Sometimes a little spice to your day is all you really need to keep going.

I went out with no plan and took 3 hours on bike, bus, and train to end up at a little hole-in-the-wall coffee shop to order a Something With Cream and be presented with a French Toast frappuccino and immerse myself in some of the most bizarre literary pieces I’ve ever read.

Welcome to the first of my coffee shop adventures. Brace yourself, this is gonna be good.

Until the next time,

Peace.

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My Thoughts, They Overwhelm Me

Welcome to my blog.

Those are pretty big words for someone who hasn’t even created so much as an Instagram and tries to stay off the black hole of the internet as much as possible. But, none the less, after years of relentless brainstorming, stomach knots of excitement, and probably a few too many cups of coffee, I find myself on the brink of publishing the 6th blog I’ve attempted with the unsettling feeling that maybe, just maybe, this will be the one that actually does…something.

But we’ve all been through something like this, right? All of us have undoubtedly felt that profound sense of inspiration, the energy surge through us as if we had the power to take on the world, only to run into the face of the wall that our thoughts, our emotions, are simply too much. It is times like these that we find ourselves stuffed between the cushions watching re-runs on Netflix, munching on whatever happens to look good in the pantry, addicted to the glow of a screen, finding  home within the oddities of Tumblr, hearing only the slow metronome of our hearts.

I don’t want to be overwhelmed to the point of paralysis anymore. We are thoughtful creatures, designed for invitation and critical thinking, problem solving, building and fostering relationships, creating, exploring, living. Anything less and we find ourselves unfilled at the most basic level and restless in the deepest parts of our bones. These posts are the excerpts of myself that are my most basic attempt to harness some of that energy and put it somewhere else other than the fog that is my brain. Some will be messy, incomplete, others will stem directly from prayer, some will be creative, and  others undoubtedly unsatisfying at times. Some will be exciting and others will seem to drag on. That doesn’t bother me, though. Those are all very real pieces of who I am in my small attempt to make a small difference in a small way.

Welcome, world, these ideas come directly from you.

Peace.