|Riverfront View from Louisville|
As I write this I'm sitting outside my favorite coffee shop - Sunergos (means: We Work Together) on Preston St. close to where I used to live. This morning I came, not only for the delicious coffee but to take care of some work for my supported employment job. After taking care of answering work emails and so forth I was glancing around - mostly to stretch my neck and back - and noticed, on a man's computer screen, the wonderful picture above. It's a picture - for those of you unfamiliar with Louisville - of the Indiana side of the Ohio River. The 'giant clock across the water' - to quote a Tim Krekel song - is a landmark here, visible from many places downtown and on the riverfront. At one time Colgate had threatened to take the clock down and the protest surprised everyone.
I was intrigued by the picture, particularly that it is sepia-toned, and obviously taken in winter, so I asked the man where he'd found it - so I could download and use it on MY desktop. He told me he'd taken the picture himself. We talked briefly about what I liked in the picture, and he showed me another photo he'd taken. And then he offered to send me the picture via email. What a lovely thing to do.
A while later I decided to move outside - since we're enjoying unseasonably cool and clear days lately. I'm sitting here piddling around at my computer when the same man comes out to tell me he'd sent the picture. He further told me that I'd inspired him to do something he's been considering - to quit one of his part-time jobs and return to photography as a vocation and paying enterprise. The man explained a bit of his thinking - I didn't ask him to - and we spoke casually about getting older and how we often need to make changes in our lives. Sometimes, we agreed, those changes are a move toward something we've been wanting to do or try but hadn't yet given ourselves permission for.
This is one of those larger reasons why I'm not supposed to have Internet at home. Yes, it would be much more convenient to get online any time, making no effort even to put on clothes, much less to get in the car (since there are NO coffee shops in my neck of the woods). Yes, I could probably afford to pay that bill now - with my second job. But there's something of isolation in doing that.
I'm reminded of an episode of Northern Exposure, in which Maggie buys a washer & dryer for her cabin so she can do laundry when she wants, in comfort and privacy. But very soon Maggie finds that she misses the people she used to see at the laundramat, that she feels out of touch with her community, and, actually, just plain lonely.
What would I have missed if I'd been at home this morning - besides the good coffee (which, even with buying Sunergos' beans I can never seem to duplicate)? While I'm not so bold as to think that I alone might be responsible for Bob Blakely's potentially new creative challenge - how much of a difference does it make that I came to the coffee shop this morning?
Maybe I just need to accept that inspirations are random and serendipitous. And maybe I just need to keep coming back (as they say in twelve steps) and see what evolves.
Keep on truckin'.