Monday, November 19, 2012

#2 The Safety Pin Cafe: Deep Imagining

"I think there's a tremendous loss of imagination in current culture—not just in the West but in other parts of the world as well. Any artist—a painter, a musician, a writer, a film maker—in some way is helping people to reconnect with their deepest imagination. And the imagination is where vision and healing and creativity live. The challenges we face in society today are so immense, so challenging, that we need that untamed, unbridled imagination to help us think outside of the box, to give us new solutions and ideas for how to live. At its best, any art form can do that." -From an interview with Gail Straub*
My hat drooped with rain that puddled into miniature ponds. I laughed out loud to see the ducks swimming at my feet. They so love my company, but really "They don't usually come in doors." The smells were divine and before my laughter settled a tall silver-haired Raven with splendid garb and lovely hands appeared. He wore glasses and spoke with a cultured tone. Obviously schooled in etiquette for tea he said sweetly, "This way, please," and with no further protocol I felt his one gloved hand gently on my elbow. "The Lady has ordered for you." A plate of fine bone china, only slightly chipped but sparkling clean was arranged with cinnamon toast cut into stars and moons and ... ducks. I inhaled with my toes and sent the cinnamon out my fingertips. "May I take your hat and shawl," the Raven said in his deep and almost drawling speech. He pointed to a hat stand near the cozy heater with kitties of all colors nestled on the sills nearby. "They love paisley," his golden eyes twinkled, laugh lines drawing into landscapes of places I could love. I think he was flirting with me. Yes, I'm sure he was flirting. The Lady watched us. She sipped from her teacup and when the Raven flew through the open Dutch-door the Lady stood.

"I do hope you enjoy a splash of vanilla from the bean in your hot milk," my company gestured to the chair near her own. As I pulled the chair out to sit, the sound of wings raised my head. "Hot milk and vanilla." A bundle dangled from his beak suspended from a copper safety pin. Delft as a pastry chef Raven unwrapped his parcel to reveal a blue mug the color of pale summer skies. Steam rose and clouded his spectacles. "Small price to pay for delivery," again with the laugh lines where I saw white sandy beaches and turquoise ocean rippling. Finally it was my turn to speak, "They're my favorite things to eat and drink on a soggy day. No question! Thank you both. Thank you both so very much."

We sat and drank our hot milk. I warmed my fingertips which were by now a bit wrinkled from the damp. "No never-mind though," I thought of the silver-haired Raven who was now busy flirting with other customers walking in leaving puddles of ducks in the entry. The cinnamon was sprinkled with just the smallest glitter of sugar that still crackled as I took a bite from the tip of an especially tantalizing star. The smooth salty butter melded the flavors to perfection. Hungrier than I'd imagined I bit and bit till there were no stars left. Then, before my milk grew tepid I dunked the moon and savored it till my belly hummed.

There's more story here. 

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