Dear Baristas, One and All,

Thank you all for your persistence and endurance through all your struggles: personal, physical, emotional.

I too have had my own struggles and though largely wish to remain in a private place to deal with them, I do want to find a quiet corner in the cafe to feel the presence of the community that seems to be patiently waiting for me to return, in spite of my feeling unworthy of their friendship and love. This, as Gina wrote in her post this weekend, seems to be the defining characteristic of our community.

One goal of mine with the GDG Cafe was inclusion, making sure all felt welcomed. The thought was to welcome poets of all experience and quality, to let people know that it was having a voice that mattered more than what the critics thought of the voice. A lesson drawn from Rilke, I wanted people who looked inside and said I MUST write know they had a place to be welcomed. Now I know that this inclusion must extend to sinners and saints, failures and champions, grievers and celebrators. To allow this place to be where we find the openings to our paths again when they seem overgrown in the woods of life that overwhelm us, or the darkness that consumes us with no regard for a humanity wrought with flaws and scars and farts and otherwise unsavory stuff.

Over the next week or so, I owe you all a vision for this place.

I hope you are all still writing and know that I am too, if just in my journal for now. The seeds are plenty. My prolific-ness remains, well, prolific.

Finally, and this shouldn’t have been the last thing written but the first and most important, thank you Christine for keeping the cafe alive for all of us, thank you to Chuck and Beth and Linda and Amanda and Davy and Gina and Sangbad and all the Guest Baristas who have written and posted and given people good reasons to visit the cafe. For those of you who are wondering if being in the GDG Cafe is worth it and may be ready to cut ties, I ask for some time, not a lot of time, I am getting my life back together, feel stronger and close to ready.

May I say one more bit of praise for Christine? In spite of her own challenges, she never wavered and always has a hand extended no matter what I go through and it seems what so many of us go through here in the cafe and all over the amazing poetry world here in Word Press. She is truly Brave and Reckless for being so persistent and a friend to all us fledgling poets.

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