Bar prophet

I talked to a stranger last night about stream of consciousness in writing. Meaning, writing without stopping to think about what we’re saying, in effort to say what probably has gone without being said for too long. He sat down next to me at the bar and I ignored him at first because I’m shy and I’m rude, but I had a feeling we’d get along. Fortunately, unlike myself, he was polite and outgoing and introduced himself without being weird about it. We kept dropping little comments on each other that could’ve been conversation-ending in most situations, but every time something was said we looked at each other with some surprise because we were speaking each other’s language. Yeah, English, but more than that too. He was a writer, and I told him that in the most defeated sense of the title that I am too. He promotes simplicity and living within our means and prioritizing life in a way that is, sadly, countercultural these days. Meaning, he preached a lifestyle of being consciously aware of how our choices not only affect us, but also those around us, our environment, our politics, and, subsequently, shape the world we live in. He isn’t one to be pulled into the stream of unconscious living, but, rather, is bent on being a truth-teller. And he uses writing as his voice. I stared at him for a second, ashamed of myself for not having been more inviting when he walked in. I didn’t know he was going to bless me so much, or that he was going to affirm my suspicions about how living well and balanced and fulfilled is much different than what the majority of the population is buying up. He was a middle-aged prophet, strolling through the streets of my hometown, and chose to sit by me at a bar. He said that if there’s something I know that I need to do, or should be doing--in regard to calling, life work, project, or being true--that I owe it to my existence to get on it. Make the time and get it done. He said that he lived a lot of life postponing his calling, but that now he couldn’t be more thrilled to share his gifts with the world. I’ve been running through some woods in a park near my parent’s house. There are maps placed around the park that say something to the effect of “Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it now. Boldness has power and magic in it. Begin it now.” I’d been huffing and puffing around these trails and would stop at the maps to see where I’d go next and would read and re-read that quote every time. I repeated it as I ran, mostly as a distraction from the pain in my legs, but also because I wanted to etch it in my brain. What do I begin? What have I not yet started? The man at the bar told me to get going on it. Make time for it and develop it. He’s been working on a book for about three years now and he said it will be done next year. He said he’s come this far because one day, as he was pacing around his home, he decided to start. And write he did. He just chose to begin. Boldness like that has power in it and then the ball gets rolling. Be awake, be aware, and be nice to strangers because they might be prophets.   

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