Slice of Life Story -A Place To Contemplate Writing

I am certainly a creature of habit. I do like some degree of certainty in my life. I have defined routines. I repeat these actions regularly.That’s why we call them routines. I recall the words of Mary Ellen Giacobbe  who said, ‘In the most predictable environments, the most unpredictable things can happen.’ She was talking about writing classrooms at the time, but the idea rings true for a range of scenarios.

My focus on routines and rituals has been heightened by the news that my regular coffee haunt has been sold. I face an imminent decision. My loyalty has been to the owner and her friendly and capable staff. I trust the quality of the coffee. I enjoy the conversation and the atmosphere generated in this little cafĂ©. I feel a sense of loyalty to the organization,  if you like. I can walk in at any time of the day and receive good service and a welcome smile. They know me, and I know them. I feel a bit like Norm from Cheers, minus the expansive girth and the presence of alcoholic inducement.

I go there for the buzz. I go there to read and write as I sip my morning charge. I can engage in conversation, or I can sit in quiet contemplation. -It doesn’t matter. Either way, there exists in that space a clear level of comfort for me as a writer -and a consumer of coffee. Importantly, it is another place to observe,  think, read and write.

Over time I have found inspiration while sitting in that place. Over time I have gathered snippets of conversation that have found a place in my writer’s notebook. I have used my time in that place to clarify problems and identify possible responses. My visits have served me well as a curious learner; a people watcher.

I have but a few weeks to decide my next move. Do I give the new owner my custom and hope the feeling of comfort persists, or do I begin to search around for another location? Do I migrate like a winter bird and fly in search of another cafe?

I do have options, but they do not immediately engender the same sense of comfort. I’m always telling teachers and their students that we must always be prepared as readers and writers to move out of our comfort zone from time to time. I'm also regularly explaining how it is important to find places to read and write that provides a sense of comfort. I must now be true to my words, and take a bold new step. Coffee and contemplation continue…


  1. It will be interesting to see what stays the same and what changes in the coffee shop. You could move to a new one or maybe the changes could just happen in your regular place.

  2. I love the way you contemplate the ying and yang of your situation. You will know what to do when the time comes. Remember, the only one who truly likes change is a baby. Meanwhile, enjoy that coffee and atmosphere while you can.

  3. Your coffee house sounds like a delightful place to read, reflect, or even just relax. Here's to a smooth transition, whatever it may be!

  4. Alan, I enjoyed your contemplative piece, especially this line, "Do I migrate like a winter bird and fly in search of another cafe?" The connection to winter resonates with me since I have been searching for reflective writers to join my newest global gallery of artistic expressions, Winter Whisperings. With this quote as a prompt, you might want to consider submitting one of your photos and embellishing your thoughts as a winter whispering. Here is the post that explains: I hope you consider this office.


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