Downtown Murray is a wee bit….DEAD. Closed businesses are aplenty. More heartbreaking, though, are the ones that claim to be open, but appear barren. I find myself wanting to request they be taken off life support. I don’t go in, for fear I’ll keep their sad status going even one day longer.
There is one shop in particular, however — the local coffee shop/Christian book store, where life is literally busting from within. The camel-brown Great Dane that works there keeps an eye on the double doors. When a dog comes strolling by, she rushes them – using her Great strength to force them open, and then tackles the passerby dog. (Now, I can’t be sure if the store dog ‘tackled’ Bela. Bela, being about 80 pounds less than that beauty-of-a-beast may have just sortof ‘slipped’ right underneath her. Like the Russian dolls that disappear into each other — Bela was simply inserted into the larger being’s space.)
The reason for my attraction to this place is that it puzzles me. When you put all the individual rooms together they make no sense, but when you break them all down, they are lovely in their uniqueness.
In the den, you can sit on a couch or recliner, a desk or table. Lighting is low and it’s quiet. There isn’t a cohesive decorative theme; it is more a family friend’s basement — plenty of places to sit, a hodgepodge of pieces from times gone by, all gathered together in the entrails of the home. In the café sector, you can buy whole bean coffee, tea, and a full menu of drinks. The 3rd room on the lower level is filled with home furnishings of the artistic kind. The walls are lined with plaques or paintings, sayings in which ‘he’ or ‘him’ start with a Capital Letter H. Bold print is used to emphasize power; gentle cursive to soothe the soul. Finally, heading upstairs reveals a veritable Best Buy for the God-fearing customer. CD’s and books are abundant.
They’ve got me. I go in for a $1 cup of coffee and I come out feeling a little bit lighter. Maybe it’s the caffeine. Maybe it’s the budget-friendly pricing. Maybe it’s the air conditioning. The staff. The dog.
Or maybe…just maybe…it’s because as sarcastic and irreverent as I like to act, it feels good to be amongst people and an atmosphere that invoke a sense of awe. Belief in something divine. Those psalms and phrases, as cheesy as they may seem, are teeming with meaning and can gently move me someplace I may not have gone without my eyes having fallen upon them. And my eyes are the biggest influence to my hands. Under their direction, I thrive.