Anticipation and arriving,
Entering and beholding,
Holding and smelling
Tasting and remembering.
Listening and watching,
Ending and leaving,
Reflecting and retelling.
Every trip back home to Portland is like a holy pilgrimage sprinkled with visits to my own personal sacred relics of religious experience. These small moments rejuvenate and revive my inner self with gentle big city grace.
One such sanctified place of solace is Stumptown Coffee downtown on Third, just a few skips from Voodoo donuts. It's an open, architecturally bold space, minimalist but in a way that vibes with a modern monkish asceticism. It feels like my own urban hermit cell but open instead of closed to life, noise and poured pleasures.
I visit it as a blissfully unknown, a nameless, culture starved soul, weary and in need of an infusion of dark brewed hospitality served with no invitation and requirements, just passed to me with overly pretentious care.
I find my way to a window seat, where I sip, contemplate and feel gloriously human while overworked Angels look on in wonderment. These are my "thin places," as the old Celts used to call their sacred places. Spots where heaven and earth mingle so close, I find myself easily ascending and descending on Jacob's ladder.
Where are your momentary monasteries?
Who are your Abbots of hospitality, hidden away in your daily comings and goings?