"When you slow down and pay careful attention to what is happening inside you and around you, a new world opens up. Everything comes alive. In fact, you may notice that surges of joy arise in you spontaneously, even when nothing special is happening, and even in the midst of difficult times. ... With mindfulness we can appreciate that every moment of life, whatever our experience, is precious. When we live in this way, a certain kind of vitality comes into our lives."
So if I pay attention to what's going on right now, what do I find?
I'm at Cafe Trieste at Dwight and San Pablo. There's a decent-sized crowd here, mostly either people alone or in pairs. I just switched away from this blog to check my email. I'm so used to doing that, but doesn't it take me out of the moment? See, there, I did it again. I've conditioned myself to jump into the future -- what messages have I gotten -- instead of just experiencing the present. Why is that so damn hard? I'm listening to Jim Croce's "Photographs and Memories: His Greatest Hits." The song that's playing now is "Rapid Roy" (that stock-car boy; he the best driver in the land) and I just stopped to put that on Facebook. I'm always switching back and forth. I'm not sure if that makes me happy or not. Sometimes it does. There is a guy in a blue shirt ordering his drink right now. He just took the honey and asked that it be added. Or maybe he added it himself, I couldn't see. For some reason I just thought about that old saw that always goes around Facebook (see, Facebook again): Be kind to those who you meet, for everyone is fighting a battle you may know nothing about. That can be easier some times than others.
Outside it is gray and cloudy as it has been all day. People are coming in and out of this cafe the way thoughts do in and out of your head all the time. What draws people here? I know for me I get lonely, even with the dogs, and need to get out in the world. I've always worked in cafes. I just took a picture to add to this post so that I can visually remember, even though I always know what Trieste looks like. I've been here millions of times. Okay, maybe just thousands. Hundreds, definitely.