Tag Archives: Creativity

The Sounds of Seething

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Retro flower pot shape bike at a coffee shop.

Coffee Shops, Cafes, and Diners have been, and will likely always be, my temples of contemplation and revelation.

Practicing private thoughts within a bustling public setting works as a nice balance for my mind and soul.

Recently, I sat in a nearby, faith-based coffee shop/bookstore. The patrons were primarily college students – early twenties – discussing philosophical concepts while intermittently glancing at their screens.

They appeared to be harmonizing secular with sacred, in soft tones of curiosity and respect. Their vocabularies were as vast as our Western horizons, and they punctuated their speech with a potpourri of world languages.

To me, an eavesdropper, their conversations sounded lyrical. Almost like improvisational poetry. I felt inspired being nested in such artful ambience.

The moment pushed me higher.

Caused me to recall my own college days, where as an English major, I was in love with words. With the raw materials of my art form.

In the arms of such purity, I was nearly 20 years old when, during an all-night dormitory pow wow, I was coaxed relentlessly into uttering aloud the “F” word. It was liberating. I suddenly had a new relationship with the word. I was less fearful of its power.

Over time, I’ve dared myself to speak aloud every forbidden word deemed as vulgar or offensive to someone, somewhere.

Several of these words became familiar friends; others remained forbidden from my speech.

Eventually, I became uncomfortable with my free usage of cheap, easy words instead of giving space to speaking with specificity and grace.

People, both public and private, have stood me still with their eloquence, and kept me at attention until I absorbed some essence of their artistry.

Until I remembered my own love of language and admonished myself for loosening grasp on this romance.

Most recently and most powerfully, Michelle Obama sent me back to my origin: “.  .  . when they go low, we go high.” A phrase I’ve internally chanted like a mantra each time I seethe with enough emotional passion to drop verbal bombs of destruction.

I succeed and I fail at this.
I reinstate the mantra.

And rest in the eternal truth that all beings will be accountable for their own actions and reactions. That there is no need to judge, ridicule, or make demeaning statements about others’ efforts.

Engaging in inward seething judgment – a seething that remains either silent or shouts outwardly – actually retards my advancement as a human.

It does nothing to adorn my own consciousness. So why indulge?

Instead, if I can love myself enough to forgive myself, I can far more easily forgive others and dissolve any seething words brewing in my inner vessel.

And, just in case I’m too puny to silence my ugly words, I can always subdue the tendency with the bite of a sweet confection:

Pumpkin Cake - Minus Bite

In this case, a dense, chewy pumpkin cake .  .  . recipe compliments of THESWEETWORLDSITE.

I embellished my version of the cake, but her elegant simplicity is enough to associate me with the power and the glory of beautifully heart-crafted and purified creative language. And remind me of my ever-present choice:

The Sound of Beauty or the Fury of the Beast

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My choice; my reckoning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bye Bye Boys

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There’s a certain timbre in the coffee shop this morning. Porcelain colliding with wood, with more porcelain. Hushed voices. Whispers mixing with the steam of hot coffee rising.

As I glance back over my shoulder, I think of 2017. I see a mental billboard – a roadside advertisement featuring the famous bad boys. The lineup of naked egos exposed in their full self-glorification. 

Some courting felonies, some hoping for misdemeanors.

 

It was a year of cause and belated effect.

It was the truth of existence in operation, and a multitude of us watched with consciousness and remembrance of our own battles with the many flavors of abuse.

It was the year that Newton’s third law was made apparent to all.

It was a moment of satisfaction for me.

And to those celebrated offenders, I say:  “Bye Bye Boys. You’ve had your day. Now it’s time to go away.”

 

For all the unknown, the unexposed – may you wrestle with you consciences, have tea with your demons, and learn your lessons profoundly. Police Mystery Man

I am cordially indifferent to your individual plights.

 

I have only one sorrowful loss in this whole mess:  Garrison Keillor. He’s been my inspiration and a source of cynical, wickedly humorous Americana entertainment since 1980.

I’m angry that his fictional small-town tales and homey music have been removed from the terrestrial radio waves and the intergalactic currents.

Radio theatre is a dying art, as is impromptu storytelling.  I want the best to remain for as long as possible.

So desperate was I to find a replacement, I searched Podcasts and settled on “Welcome To Night Vale.” It seemed like a strong contender until I reached the episode of the three vomiting dogs.

Too rude, crude, and unattractively graphic for my taste. I unsubscribed.

Now, I’m back to the eloquent emptiness Garrison left behind.

And my anger deepens. I don’t know if it’s directed more at him or at Minnesota Public Radio. It’s a selfish and selective anger – Yes.

I want my small-town fantasy safely back on the radio each week, while I want him to scurry along and correct his wrongdoing.

Just get it right, Mr. Keillor. You’re an Anglican, a man of fair faith and intelligent virtue.

Just get it right with the Lord and get back on the airwaves.

Please.

From all of us at the coffee shop .  .  . we thirst for your witty gossip, disguised as provincial-minded chatter, to stimulate our decaffeinated minds.

One smart conversation begets another. And soon we can again have a community of cafe culture that enlivens the imagination.

I raise my cup of mocha chai to you. I need this gift restored.

 

 

A Signature Smoothie

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I began this blog with a dilemma: hating coffee, but, loving coffee shops. And I’ve spent the past one-and-a-half years trying to recreate the sparks of thought, reflection, and creativity that coffee shop ambience inspires within me.

Well now, I’ve found a solution to the first half of my polar quandary. Instead of cups of gourmet coffee with frothy hearts atop their steamy ceilings, I’ve developed a recipe for a Mocha Smoothie.

 

An all-natural, caffeine-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, vegan alternative that satisfies the taste buds while nourishing the body and soul.

I drink it after workouts; post-yoga; in-between meals when cravings try to sneak in.

So, now I have the drink to sip. I just need the human company. The live conversation. The tangible infusion of the senses that only a brick-and-mortar shop can provide. That’s my next challenge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the moment, though, here’s the recipe:

  • 7 – 8 ounces of Water
  • 20 Raw Almonds + 5 Raw Cashews, soaked overnight and then rinsed
  • 1 tsp Maca Powder
  • 1 T Cocoa Powder (My favorite is Just Like Sugar Cocoa Mix)
  • Handful of Fresh Blueberries
  • 1 Scoop of Vegan Protein Powder, Mocha Flavored (My favorite is Vega)
  • 1/2 Banana – Frozen, Fresh, or Pureed (Yes, as in baby food! It offers a sumptuous, custardy texture.)
  • 8 Frozen Cherries

Place in a single-serving blender in this order. Blend for 30 -45 seconds.

 

And may your cup always be filled to the rim.

 

Your Time Here is Limited

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In contrast with the soothsayer‘s warning to Julius Caesar, “Beware the Ides of March,I find no foreboding message in this day. In fact, I celebrate it!

Please join with me and find a bit of wisdom, inspiration and prompting via The Wise Old Owls .  .  . speaking the words of Steve Jobs.

 

 

The Grind

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Mocha Muse has its very own newspaper, The Grind. It may contain a quote, a poem, song lyrics, snippets of overheard conversation or fascinating facts about creativity/life. So, leather sofa in Home Interiorsnuggle into the sofa, unfold the paper and reach for your morning cup of coffee.

Here’s the twenty-fifth issue. . . just click on newspaper to enlarge, then continue to click until text is readable for you!

 

 

 

The Grind - (12-15-2015) Crocheted Memories

 

My grandmother chose deep, aged-wine colors and crocheted her “squares” as diamonds .  .  . yes, she diagonally parked her stitchery, which inspires me to love her nonconformist aesthetics all the more .  .  !

 

 

Welcome to Mocha Muse Coffee Shop!

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jayni in FedoraI hate coffee, but . . . I love coffee shops!

This creates a dilemma, because I find all of the sounds and smells of cafes and coffeehouses very inspirational for writing.

I would love to carve out a couple of hours each day in which to sit in a funky little coffee shop and write my heart out.

But, since I don’t drink coffee and I don’t like tea and my gluten-free, sugar-free, flour-free, corn-free diet prevents me from indulging in confections . . . well, you get the point no doubt: I can’t pay my way for java house writing.

So to preserve the atmosphere of conversation and creativity; to capture the wild musings of our minds; to provide a free space for sensory experience, I’ve created a virtual coffee shop.

Now, if we imagine the sounds in the background, perhaps the Mocha Muse can be used as a place to break routine, loosen up some latent stories, roust memories, stir emotions, animate dreams . . . and give birth to whatever is percolating within the soul.

  • Enjoy my personal reflections on muse-inspired, random days.
  • Browse through the artwork hanging on the walls (click on Beadery and Cartoonery tabs).
  • Curl up on the sofa and read Mocha Muse’s own newspaper, The Grind, on aimless, arbitrary, and accidentally-whimsical Monday mornings. (Which means we go to press when the waitress is in the mood!)

Grounds up!

P.S. If you’re having trouble summoning up background sounds, try this ambient enhancer. Let the noise machine transport and deposit you into the heart of coffee shop culture. Maybe to your favorite seat next to the window – or –  to that special booth that curls like a comma in the corner .  .  .  !