970850_10151464723991811_1632333308_nI tend to go have my breakfast on the roof when I have an opportunity.

Usually on market days, sometimes on mornings that I wake restless, sometimes just 10 minutes to be quiet. Always the same – a bagel with peanut butter and wheat germ (not sure why wheat germ but I saw someone else doing it and it seemed like a good idea) and a big cup of coffee from Mean Cup served black and full of abuse.

Today was one of those mornings; woke up at 3:30, mind running, thoughts racing, heart beating a little too fast. Tossed and turned till 4:30 trying to talk myself back to sleep.

“Joe stop thinking”
“Hello mind please oh pretty please be quiet”
“Shut up! Oh I’m sorry did I shout at you? Shut up!  Shut up! Shut up!”

I tried the left side, I tried the right side, legs spread, legs stacked, flat backed, curved backed, upside down, inside out, head to toe, toe to arse. I meditated, I counted sheep, I counted pigs, I counted chihuahuas jumping fences till one poor fellow got stuck.

I counted backwards from 10, all the time talking to myself in a very deep hypnotic voice.

“Tennnnnnnnn, You are getting sleepy.
Nineeeeeeeeeee, you are feeling very relaxed.
Eighttttttttttttttt, your eyes are feeling heavy.
Sevennnnnnnnn, you are getting sleepy .
Sixxxxxxxxxxxx, sleepy sleeeeeeeeeeeeeepy.
Fiveeeeeeeeeeeeee, Heavy, heavvvvvvvvvvvvvvvy.
Fourrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, you are some muppet.
Threeeeeeeeeeeeee, wakey wakey.
Twoooooooooooooo, maybe I should just get up.
Oneeeeeeeeeeeeee, oh well, que sera sera”

So jumping out of bed with the enthusiasm of a politician on his way to confession I rolled into the shower, fell into my clothes, filled up the water bottles and paddled off to work.

A quick stop to leave a few of the lads in and to market for my daily fill.  I hadn’t been on the roof for breakfast for what seemed like months. With construction going on for the last three months the days have been starting early and finishing late.  Running hectic, fighting to get done, scrambling to remember all we have forgotten in an effort to open today, yesterday and a month ago.

So this morning I remembered our roof, got up from my computer, half eaten bagel in hand, cup of coffee in tow and headed north. Elevator to the stair, stair to freedom. I walked to the back of the roof and sat.

The back is my favorite part of the roof, fully vegetated but not planted. When building the roof, running low on money, we spread cuttings on the back of the roof instead of plantings like the front and middle. These vagabond, ragamuffin collection of cuttings took better than the plantings. Joined by gypsy weeds and flowers it has grown into this rooftop mountaintop garden of this and that’s and those and them’s that feels just so right.

We tried weeding back there (I have the sunburn scars on my backside to prove it) but we lost. It has a character of its own, strength of its own and beauty of its own. So now we go with it and it all works out just fine, better every month than the one before.

I am greeted by a flock of starlings flying over the courthouse, the first I have seen this year, surely a sign that summer is coming to a close and fall is fast approaching. I watch in silence, my mind finally quiet, mesmerized by the simple natural flow and chase of the flock.

I start to see the grasshoppers camouflaged in the greenery. In seeing them I start to understand that they are always there but I am not. I also understand in striving to build what we are building I have forgotten at times why we are doing it.

I have not been able to see the forest for the trees. In the rush to get done, to get open, to get this figured out, that squared away, beer picked (well alright beer is important), bands booked, store open, hours figured out, people hired, woodwork done, I have forgotten the reason we are doing it.

Grasping the forest, a simple way of life full of creativity, art and music. Time for people and not just to say hello but to get to know them. An open mind that sees grasshoppers and hears all ideas. Time to learn and grow. A place full of love and hope.

So construction will finish when it finishes, we will get open when we do, our liquor license will be approved when it gets approved and it will be all-good. We will continue to do the things that we like and when we stop liking it we will do something different.

I will try my best to see the forest and I look forward to spending more time with you all. I thank you all for making my life better, I am excited for what the future will bring and whatever will be will be.

Live Free,