Wednesday, October 13, 2010

the monks stole my heart

St Marks cathedral is very well known in the Seattle area. You mention that name to almost anyone and you automatically feel a sense on nostalgia beaming from them as if their experience there was synonymous to going to Disneyland or eating grandmas homemade-from-scratch chocolate chip cookies as a little child. and now, I know why.
Every Sunday evening at 9:30 at St. Mark Cathedral a breathtakingly beautiful event occurs.

The monks sing.

If you ever make it to Seattle for any length of time promise me that your time here will land on a Sunday so that you can experience what my best friend, Luda, eloquently describes as "the closest thing to what it would be like in heavens when the angels sing". I've been in church when the worship leader asks the women to sing one part of a song and the men to sing another. This is always wonderful, because its not often that you hear a group of male voices, in unison (and all-be-it, not always on perfect pitch), singing a song to their Savior. Its incredibly moving. Now take that and multiply it by 100 and you will begin to scratch the surface of this awe-inspiring encounter.

Upon entering they gather in a crescent shape around the conductor or choir leader or whatever you would call it, each with their hymnals...and as the conductor (this is what I've decided to call him) lifts his hands, indicating commencement, the rather fat Friar Tuck looking monk, who has eaten a few too many communion crackers (ifyouknowwhatimean) and the others open their mouths and begin to sing. As I listen, intently, it's as if every note were escaping from their ribbed cage, exploding from their chest to their tongue and then, after properly collecting themselves, like ballerinas behind a curtain, they dance, gracefully and softly out into the air and delicately in my ears. One by one they fill the cathedral from floor to sealing, swirling around hand in hand creating an unparalleled harmonious blend of verbal expression and picturesque imagination.

It was rapturous.

...the monks have forever stolen my heart.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

my resting spot

I work at a little cafe in Ballard, which is a northern borough of Seattle. I love my job and frequently have the opportunity to sit and enjoy a lovely book and an even lovelier cup of coffee. There are 5 large tables here plus enough counter space to seat 5, plenty of sitting room for the times I am able to get off my feet. All listed seating choices are good in their own right, but me? I choose a less obvious location. Our kitchen is not large so every nook and cranny is over taken by one object or another; useless or not. Everything has its place on one surface area or another...except for the top of the dishwasher. It is one place in the entire kitchen that is not spoken for. Its the only unclaimed resting spot. The circumference is about the size of a flattened basketball, is next to our refrigerator and, conveniently, shares a wall with where we shelve our plates. So, I have a seat (dishwasher) a back rest (fridge) and a table for my coffee (plate shelve). Amongst the many options...I choose the free nook in the kitchen to read my book and sip my latte.

Sometimes its the little things about yourself that make you smile.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

open mic debut

Went to an Open Mic and Art show last night at Roy Street Coffee and Tea which was created, organized, and hosted by my dear friend Sean Loomis. The art was beautiful, a broad array of canvas' ranging from black and white traditional American tattoo style drawings to oil landscape paintings. The music and poetry was more hits than misses, most was enjoyable enough for a nice coffee-in-hand-conversation-with-your-neighbor atmosphere, who doesn't love a few Beatles covers, eh? but one poet in particular, David Thompson, raised a few eye brows and hallelujah hands with the bulk of his boisterous writings being about cocaine, alcoholism, and the always stiff-spined topic of church, God and its effect on society. I, for one, found it near impossible to sit during his performance due to his energy, inflection and brutality of word...he was enthralling to say the least. The place was packed and seemed to be enjoyable for the wine and coffee connoisseurs that attended.

Bravo to the team that prepared and successfully debuted this open mic at Roy St. Coffee and Tea. Looking forward to more where that came from.