Get your coffee and come sit with me, I have my flat white ready!
I was recently introduced to John Berger an English art critic, novelist, painter and poet. I was given his novel G (which won the 1972 Booker Prize) as a reading assignment by my reading partner. It was not an easy read and I felt intellectually challenged as art has not been something I could ever comment on, not being a visually inspired person, most art is lost on me. But I did pick up something from reading his words, he had a keen eye for the insignificant. I love this quote from him – “If I am a storyteller, it’s because I listen”.
It surprised me that an art critic who had a keen eye for form and structure was also a keen listener. So I decided I would try to be both a keen listener and also observer of insignificant things and moments.
I did after all receive a lot of my stories from listening or rather eavesdropping when I was a child. My mind absorbed all of them and later I think I made up my own when I forgot the facts! But I was always listening to whoever wanted to speak to me, I found that the highest honour.
Then I came across this piece:
Walt Bettinger, the CEO of Charles Schwab, related one of the most stinging experiences in his life. He had maintained a 4.0 GPA in college and wanted to graduate with a perfect GPA. The final exam for a business strategy course was a blank piece of paper. The professor said he had taught them everything he could about business, so he only had one more question: What is the name of the lady who cleans this building?
Mr. Bettinger said that was the only test he ever failed. He had seen her, but never taken the time to speak to her or find out who she was. He learned the lesson to always get to know the people who can seem insignificant to us.
Always stop and listen to someone even if you think there are insignificant, you will never know what you miss. And never dismiss anything or anyone as insignificant.
And what did you miss at the café this week?
Come sit with me and let’s see!
The week started rather gravely for us as our Café Captain, S Francis observed a period of silence and mourning for the lives of the sailors lost at sea from the USS Fitzgerald collision early Sunday morning the 18th of June. S Francis has taken a period of time off from blogging to show respect and honour for these souls and their families during their most heartbreaking time. We stand by him and support him and offer comfort and understanding as what affects one affects all of us. We remember those who sacrifice so much to serve. My father was a Navy man too and I remember the weight of saying goodbye and not knowing when I would see him again. The loss these families must endure is unimaginable.
Again these maybe few and insignificant against the thousands who are in service but no, no one should just be a number, each a name and a soul we must remember.
Christine has led us during his absence and we continue to spread the warm spirit of community at the Go Dog Go Café.
Mr Davy D has a lovely discussion going on the subject of Why We Write Poetry? Davy says, “Shakespeare, according to some sources, wrote part of his poetry to supplement his income when plague closed the London theatres and stopped the performances of his plays. William Wordsworth’s poetry grew from his love and obsession with his childhood and nature.”
Davy then wrote a poem in response to his thoughts on the question and trying to solve the puzzle.
And I never wrote poetry till I started blogging! That puzzled me!
Read Davy’s post and the comments to understand why some of us write poetry.
Davy is our in house celebrity now, read about his recent new role here – Hanging Out With the Red Kites.
Christine did a most evocative Spoken Word Spotlight. This week she introduced us to a gorgeous poem written by Lois E. Linkens that was originally published by the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective. We strongly recommend that you visit Lois’ blog and read more of her excellent poetry. Sit back, take a sip of coffee, close your eyes and enjoy.
There’s a Fiction section where you can read and also contribute stories on cafés and coffee moments, read my little story about a cute café in Auckland, New Zealand called Circus, Circus!
If you would like Christine to highlight a piece of your writing or contribute a story, please contact Go Dog Go through our Contact Form or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I was pleased and a little overwhelmed to read Amanda’s rewind of an interview she did with me some weeks back. Thank you Amanda for the questions that prompted me to share and open up, you are a truly gifted person, and juggle so much yet produce such amazing work. Each Tuesday Amanda will post an interview she has conducted. Soon all the Baristas here will be interviewed too, so watch this space if you have a favourite you are waiting to read! If you would like to be a part of Amanda’s bi-weekly interview series, please reach out to her through her Contact Page.
And we have two fabulous call and response poems from Chrstine and Chuck, two brilliant poets. Using words in tight spaces to tell a story of courage and resilience. Read them both here. The Call / The Response.
I leave you with a quote from one of my favourite poets, a wise and tender soul:
“In your light I learn how to love. In your beauty, how to make poems. You dance inside my chest where no-one sees you, but sometimes I do, and that sight becomes this art.” – Rumi
Hope & Light