It ate him whole –

I’ve been writing in restaurants and cafes for years. Mostly I’m there for the clean table, to spread out my journal, books, pen, restroom, and access to food when I get hungry. I find I can depend on being left alone to write for as much time as I usually need, an hour or two, or if I am lucky and the place is not too busy and the server feels like I am a good bet for a generous tip I spend three or four hours. What I have noticed is that places that are good for writing are also good for drinking. The place I have been going recently has a large continuously running bar. No matter how early in the morning I go people are drinking. I try not to judge but it is a bit of a shock. This type of shock reminds me of nightmares I had as a child. The worst reoccuring one was based on the Peter and the Wolf story that has a common theme of a wild animal eating other animals or children whole. As I think about it now my facination with being eaten whole was not limited to nightmares. I loved the song “I knew and old lady who swallowed a fly”. The song goes ” I don’t know why she swallowed the fly, perhaps she’ll die?” There is an apathy in the song that is disturbing. I think the point of the song is to mind your own business and that is what I try to do when I walk past people drinking alone at the bar on a Tuesday at 9am. I want people to mind their own business about what I am doing with my books and pens, but I have admit it is a strange place to do something seemingly private like writing. I think I am a type of sitting duck and this somehow keeps me awake and moving through the thoughts I am trying to express. When I feel full from writing I gather my things pay my bill and dash out. It doesn’t matter so much what I wrote, I just need to write. I wonder if it is the same for the folks at the bar. They’re fillng a need. As I leave the resturant I think about how few places nourish our basic needs. Whether it be for food, drink or a protective space to hold us while we digest. I have gratitude for the establishments and the people that work there who are truly servering others while also thinking we could do so much better as a society. I recently read an article on The Marginalian about an African Folk story around the theme of being eaten whole. I can’t seem to find the article now but it was about motherhood and existential angst. Could home be outside of our selves? How can we know something we are consumed by? I find it synchronistic that I have also been studying The Empress card in my new Tarot deck by Catrin Welz-Stein. Here The Empress is pregnant, her body a lush garden. It is full of the potential of love’s unfolding. Sometimes our minds threaten to eat us whole but the mind is is not and existential threat it is a part of us and we are inside the whole of being. God is not in us we are in god, always home whether we know it or not.

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