Wednesday, June 1, 2011

food+drink: Farley's East

This guest post is by my lovely and talented wife, K. Her website for her spiritual direction practice can be found at Sleep on the Hearth. She also blogs on spiritual matters.

Farley's East

On Monday I headed for Farley's East to work on my novel. It being Memorial Day, parking was free and easy. Easy because things were so quiet—only a few people were abroad in Oakland, and I think half of them were actually in Farley's. But I'll get to that in a minute.

Before going in, I took a detour and walked down to the Cathedral of Christ the Light at Grand and Harrison. I wanted another look at the healing garden that opened in 2008 in remembrance of those who have been sexually abused by Catholic clergy.

healing garden

The first time I visited this tiny, simple garden, a flower was growing from between the cracks in the center of the rock. That was powerful, but seeing the artwork as it is now, without anything growing in it, probably more deeply reflects the truth of what is being remembered. It's a plain, hard truth, and this piece of art is both plain and hard. Kudos to the artist, Masatoshi Izumi.

An article about the healing garden on SFGate points out that the memorial being outside the church is part of its symbolism: many victims of clergy abuse cannot, and will never, enter a church again as long as they live. For similar reasons, the garden has no religious symbols or artwork. It just is what it is.

After I'd taken a few photos and sat by the rock for a while, I headed to Farley's, which is a healing garden of a more joyful sort. The walls are usually covered with art. Eclectic magazines are for sale. Artistic-looking people sit at tables drinking coffee and typing on MacBooks. I like to imagine that some of them are working on creative endeavors, as I am.

Twice now I've gone to Farley's to write, and both times I had a latte that was both delicious and beautiful. I also got some good writing done. Farley's has a great vibe for doing creative work, and it's energizing just to sit there and soak it in. I'll definitely be going back. They also have delicious sandwiches.

lovely latte

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