Poem: Silence Colors Coffee and On Writing in Coffeeshops
There is always something to observe. There is music that is chosen for you, that in the best case you don't know, and there is the ever so inspirational power of coffee.
And going there to write is more than a hip fashion. It sometimes give you more than your quiet room could do.
Coffeeshops embody the essence of a city. You meet its characters there, or you observe them passing by on the street. You hear its language. Its sounds. You see what it looks like.
It is where people pause. Where people are fully themselves or play an even more interesting role. Where the foam of a cappucino becomes poetic. Because you have time to observe it. Or the person at the other end of the room taking a sip from it.
But more than anything, coffeeshops are full of stories. It is the encounters, the conversations that you can have if you let them happen. Life stories told in full detail to you, or overheard word snippets at the table next to you. For me, this is the true inspiration of a coffeeshop, the sense of the unexpected and the willingness to share stories. You need time for that and a patiently open ear.
I've written in Stumptown in New York, in the living-room-like Smithy in Stirling, the cultured Kaffeehaus in St Gallen, in Tim Horton's in Canada, in various hidden treasures while on the traveling move... And everywhere, there is something to listen to, even if it's just yourself.