A Tale of Two Cafés

Why is the difference, sat at a café

At home versus places abroad?

The climate, the buildings, the feel, you say,

The aromas, the clothing, the vibe.

Convinced you know why

Is the difference.

I fancy it’s the language.

Sat on a terrace at a cafe at home,

You can’t not hear what you listen.

The banalities, the gossip, the quotidian,

The bizarre, the novel, the most interesting,

You can’t help but take it in.

You cannot switch off,

You cannot ignore,

You can not block it out.

Scant room for wonder or focused perceiving,

When from sounds to words to sentences to meaning,

Your mind works in order to bring order to the noise.

The stories of others invade your mind.

Their making sense

Of their thoughts, their experience,

Demanding your focus, your time.

So much of your mental capacity

Is spent on understanding.

There’s little left for perception,

It’s mostly distraction.

On a terrace abroad

You understand nought,

The hubbub of minimal incursion.

A soundtrack to the experience

It adds, it’s not a diversion.

Your mind so much freer to perceive,

Capacity to spare.

To take more in,

To ponder, to wonder,

To look, to listen

And otherwise sense.

Choosing what you hear.

Of course you remember the climate,

The buildings and the feel,

The aromas, the clothing, the vibe.

They are so much more real.

For you’re so much more free

To perceive, to see,

To quieten the mind

And simply be.

If there is a revelation,

In this explanation,

Then take from it a learning,

Give it contemplation.

For when its essence you understand,

You can be free of distraction,

Of others’ demands.

And irrespective of geography,

You’ll be at liberty to be free!

Whilst it’s easier in foreign climes,

Over the seas,

Across the skies,

No distraction from words or signs.

Once you get the whats and whys,

You can apply the learning in any guise.

And shield your mind as if with a ward.

For no matter where you find yourself,

There is always distraction abroad.