Coffeehouse: The Most Important Thing

JV Icon PenOctober 16, 2017.   Imagine us all in a vintage coffeehouse, sprawled on sprung couches  around wobbly tables, our journals out, classic rock (country, punk, pop, fill in your own blank) pouring out of the stereo speakers mounted on the wall. We’re writing to the same prompt and then somebody calls time and we share. That’s Coffeehouse Community Writes!

Write for 7-10 minutes on the prompt below. Then post your write, or whatever you want of it, or a reflection (As I read this I notice– I’m aware of– I’m surprised by — etc.) or notes on the process or experience of writing it.

The most important thing…..

Please share your write, your reflection or your process in the Comments section. Respond to each other and let’s create a community journal experience!


4 Responses to Coffeehouse: The Most Important Thing

  1. Dawn Lawson October 21, 2017 at 5:56 am #

    The prompt “The most important thing” immediately brought to mind W. H. Auden’s poem “September 1, 1939,” which circulated widely after the September 11, 2001, attacks. Its most frequently quoted admonishment is, “We must love one another or die,” but the poem ends with the narrator telling himself that he must “show an affirming flame,” another most important thing. As Kay alluded to in her “October Musings,” what we can do feels very small in the face of today’s many domestic and international disasters and tragedies, but what matters is that we not be discouraged and keep our small lights aglow.

    Speaking of light, these weeks are hard ones for me because each morning is darker for a longer amount of time than the one before. Ann Arbor is, inexplicably (or maybe there is an explanation of some kind) in the Eastern time zone. It was still not fully light by 7:45 this morning, and for someone who wakes up naturally at 5, that’s a lot of darkness. This will be momentarily alleviated by November 5th’s time change, but it will soon return as we hurtle toward the shortest day of the year. I do have a SAD light, but for various reasons I don’t always use it.

    One thing that can always light up my life is a great book, and I’m going to end here by recommending Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere. Her debut novel Everything I Never Told You was also stunning, and in many cases the follow-up work doesn’t match that greatness, but this one definitely does.

    The barista is calling me to pick up my latte. . .ttyl

    • Kay Adams October 22, 2017 at 11:40 am #

      Ah Dawn, what a lovely meditation on the most important thing. I especially love this: “…but what matters is that we not be discouraged and keep our small lights aglow.” How appropriate that your recommended reading is “Little Fires Everywhere.” Small lights abound! I will take that recommendation for
      a long plane ride upcoming. I wish you godspeed toward the return of your personal light. Thanks for being part of Journalverse!

  2. Cyncie Winter October 29, 2017 at 9:59 am #

    I have just joined JournalVerse and am deeply moved by reading both posts here this morning. Dawn, your words inspired my own writing and Kay’s echoing of the theme that “small lights abound.” “We must love one another or die”…and “show an affirming flame.” Ahhh….. As I wrote to these beautiful affirmations, I remembered a dream I had on the eve of 9/11, where I saw dark, crenelated towers rising into the night sky, and a single candle burning in an alcove of one of those towers. This memory brought to mind Leonard Cohen’s lines, “There is a crack in everything…that’s how the light gets in.”

    This important mantra holds me like an affirming flame in life. As I wrote, I noticed how often I forget to look for that tiny but guiding light–the kindness that is really everywhere in spite of these dark days, the imprint that people have made throughout my life who have offered me gifts of grace. I was reminded of this kindness several times in the last week, and that spun me once again into love with what this life is becoming.

    So thank you for your gift, Dawn, and Kay, for the gift of this community, which I need so very much right now in my life to light little fires everywhere, to remind us about all the light we cannot see, the light we need to keep aglow.

    • Kay Adams October 30, 2017 at 7:57 am #

      Cyncie, we are already enriched by your wisdom and depth. Thanks for bringing your light. Welcome!

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