Shelter is not easy to find these days because the wind blows awful hard.
As I write these words I can hear a ululating swirl outside my window. And because I live in a mountainous wind tunnel the temperature outside depends on which way the wind is blowing. From the east these days means cool to cold, sometimes very cold; from the west comes the warm dry air known locally as a chinook, which is native for ‘snow eater.’ Many are the tales of the chinook’s capricious whimsy in foiling or upsetting ambitious builders’ best laid plans. Half built houses summarily tossed into gullies, construction cranes and workmen’s barracks erected by heedlessly prideful foremen brushed off exposed land and scattered in costly eastward heaps. Driving any light sizeable vehicle east-west can be an adventure, north-south an absolute folly.
But it’s not that kind of wind I am referring to here.
We wake up in the morning with our phones in our hands scrolling away before our eyes are even open. The race to catch up with the latest breaking news, opinions, facts and theories is on. The phone will stay with us throughout the day and wherever we go more talking heads and news will assail us. “I heard…..” and “did you hear….” echoes in our ears as we sit quietly in diners or stand minding our own business in grocery store lines.
Who, I ask, stands a chance of taking it all in and actually making sense of it? Who isn’t psycho-spiritually swamped under by the ceaseless barrage?
It’s an information pandemic and nobody’s immune.
That was fun, and easy too. It’s easy these days to string a bunch of words together to evoke confusion and chaos.
Much harder to capture calm.
And that calm has always been at the core of the Omphalos Cafe. A quiet tranquil shelter from the psycho-spiritual storm outside. An immovable spot at the hub around which the crazy wheel of fate revolves.
It’s not an easy place to find. In fact, the door is closed to the ineligible, the scattered and windblown, the unworthy you might even say. Not that it isn’t open to any and everybody, it’s just that one has to earn the right to enter, or even find the entranceway in the first place.
Ah, but I’m speaking in metaphors, in tongues.
A different language than the cold hard logical one in currency today.
Outside the wind continues to blow.
Inside I’ve poured more hot water into my tepid cup of green tea and asked Siri to play some spa music.
Joseph Campbell loved to expatiate on the meaning of the letters in AUM….
I just like the sound of it…..
Like a gentle breath of wind….