Life Defined

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

In which I update my blog and say a few words: Desiderata and Some...

Good Morn, Chaps:

Today is the first day of spring - a time, as good as any, in my opinion, to update my blog with random thoughts and whimsical words. Perchance the day is keen on it? It certainly looks chipper beyond my windowpane. The sun's rays are playful, splashing upon the leaves of ivy and oak - papery things marked by green and gold that dance against the cool breeze. Yes, spring is here... Though it is hard to believe that we're to expect snow in the days ahead~

Anyway, I've spent some time in idle contemplation for the better part of the week, randomly letting my mind roam free and wander as it will. At the same time, I've allowed myself to venture into the realm of "hard caffeine," as I think of it... (in other words, coffee). Yes, I've grown quite fond of one of the "coffee" options at Starbucks, and of late, I have been visiting either Starbucks alone or a Barnes & Noble/Starbucks combo and ordering said drink. I am always sure to carry a book with me - as well as a chess set.. (you know, for those chance times someone may wish to play), and I often read between sips or sit back and... well, think. I've had it said that I am now "hooked" on caffeine, as it seems most of America is when considering such a bizarre substance as coffee. But - no. It's not that I am now a prisoner of the concoctions (granted, I've yet to stray beyond my sole "drink") that Starbucks offers, as it is - in truth - no better than the homemade cocoa I prepare at home-base; rather, it is the environment of Starbucks or Barnes & Noble that compels me to journey forth and spare my time. If you ever visit said locales and observe the surroundings, you will find that others in the area are either there for quiet introspection, a casual meeting with another, or for the appearance of having a separate, esoteric purpose. All of the above are interesting to witness, even if the appearance of some is meant for assumption of demeanor, but I appreciate the atmosphere that is brought upon by the conventions of coffee and/or books in an enclosed space nonetheless. (The comfort of books is a given for me, however - and forever shall be, as pages of ink comprise my soul). The music of the environment is pleasant, the people are cordial, it's a tad bit too chilly, but the warm coffee... satisfies. Although books do indeed whisper to the entrants (or whoever takes the time to listen) and make for pleasant company (when considering a B&N/Starbucks combo), one would think coffee held a somewhat "otherworldly" status for some - as if it were a deity all its own. I find this amusing - this revered status - and as I sit to contemplate and sip, immersing myself in America's favorite alternative pastime, I realize that I am not there for reasons other patrons to make when visiting. No - I visit for something. But what something? happen? show? I cannot say. In truth, I do not know. When I wish to write or express my inner machinations, I find that the Muse is not restricted to any given environment. In this, I mean that I can be at home, in a vehicle, at the university, what have you.... and still be able to jot down whatever it is that washes over me in the spur of a moment. Yet something about this new Starbucks discovery is stirring something within me (something other, as I've said). Perhaps it is the psychologist in me that is wanting to know exactly what compels others to converge upon such humble places, and that I am simply curious as to what it could be that drives people (it has to be more than just coffee), but I have yet to find out. In the meantime, as the inner whimsy directs me, I shall continue my jaunts to the coffee shop and/or realm of books, seep myself in warm brew and heavenly aromas, and all the while read while I observe my surroundings (perhaps fancying myself a round of chess or two) and - most importantly - think. What may come may come. But the Muse - or something "other" - is stirring. Perhaps it is that a new story is slowly molding itself in the background. Perhaps I am about to venture forth on a new adventure. Whatever else, it is something. I can feel it.

[To be continued...] 


By the by, I found this quote on a puzzle the other day, for those interested. I am quite fond of puzzles - as well as this quote - so I very nearly picked it up. But - alas - I decided against it. Yet I still wish to share the words as depicted above. They are simple - yet... together, they craft a gem.
(As a side note: I sought long and hard to discover the speaker of said words, but all I could find was an Unknown attribute. It is my habit to give credit where it is due, so if anyone happens to discover the speaker, please inform me promptly. Thank you.)

Speaking of beauty in simplicity, I ran across a poem by Max Ehrmann last night - one of which I quite liked. The poem is titled, Desiderata, which means something along the lines of: "that which is necessary or desirable or, if in lack, is needed or sought after." I appreciated the strength of the words, despite their simple configuration - as well as the interwoven emanation of "coexistence" that seems to linger throughout (as God, as written, represents a sort of [insert deity/belief here] message rather than what else it may seem). Whatever else, I hope others find appreciation for Mr. Ehrmann's words~


"Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy."

-Max Ehrmann 


With that, I bid you all a merry adieu~


  1. Hi Rachel, long time no talk! I hope all is well and I really enjoyed your post! I, too, am a big Starbucks fan, but usually when I am working on my book. There is something about it that gives me, well, something more when I write. Anyway, I ordered your book and once I'm finished reading it, I will write a review. I'm not the best at writing them, mainly because I don't like to give things away about a book, but I will give you my 'yea' or 'nay', which I'm sure will be 'yea'! Have a great rest of your day! Oh, by the way, my book Fable will be launched in about a month. I hope you get the chance to check it out, too!

  2. Greetings, Ms. Lisa:

    Thank you for stopping by - and for ordering a copy of my work. I certainly hope "Empyreal Fate" satisfies your craving for the fantastical - and that you don't mind a touch of the 'ancient tongue,' as I like to call it. I look forward to hearing your thoughts once you have finished it, and I am excited to hear about your own upcoming release. How marvelous! You must keep me posted on the details, as I am intrigued to learn more.

    Best of wishes!

  3. As a fellow writer who also frequents Starbucks and Barns and Noble/Starbuck combos, I have a secret to share. All the coffees I buy are decaffeinated. That's right. I go there and am NOT hooked on caffeine. I wrote at least half of my first novel at Starbucks. I enjoy the shared camaraderie and the inspiration I find each time someone new walks through the door. But don't tell anyone. Everyone things I go there because I'm hooked on the stimulant. It's our secret.


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