Dharma Anchor

A bear walked into a bar…

The summer is eclipsing, the leaves have taken their yellowed hazy hue, and the sun sets an hour earlier than a month ago, a half hour earlier than last week. The shadows get long sooner in the day and every day for the last month the metaphorical shadows also seem to lengthen. The season is beginning its change with a great shedding of the mold, cracking and breaking away, great final shift toward whatever it is we’ve been propelled toward for the last few years. When the shift ends is hard to say, but the compound growth and changes over the last half decade are peeling away the last layers of tender old skin closest to the surface. In spite of positive anticipation of the outcome, so dramatic a change at once, those final especially hurtful growing pains, make any sort of calm very nearly out of reach, a disquieting of every comfort zone, a great constant quaking of everything. Like watching a metaphorical cabinet of curios and detritus collected over the years, once considered meaningful trinkets, now half remembered and falling from place in a constant earthquake of disillusionment. It is the sort of shift that finds me, for the need to simplify, clearing out everything that isn’t clearing itself, sorting through the last decade of faded mementos and snapshots and unloading that which draws blanks, sifting through what little remains of the old. I haven’t thrown away photos en masse in more than a decade, but I don’t remember who those people are and their ghosts are eating up space. What the hell were their names?

Then there are those things and people cut away by force, by the shifting. The pain of some of the cutting away weighs heavily, the loss of people so important is so overwhelming, but the only logical option is to embrace it and cut away the sucklings, both real and imagined, to let go of those whose books are closing, whose chapters are finished. Death is reaping all around and strings are being cut away, those ties that bind us breaking loose. When those ties all break free a new era begins, but some of that disquiet, that disruption, that disillusion and dissolving is so significant that even the usual ride takes time before the wind knocks off the frustration, blows away the passing shadows. A ride to Fayetteville two weeks ago found me more than two hundred miles gone and into the Bostons before I was able to leave behind the reeling racing of my mind, the chatter, the boiling, the steady stream of noise. And more than the mountains and being home where a smile was finally found and my heart felt release, it was another place we were directed to by a new friend later that afternoon, a place just up my alley to turn a phrase, like home from first glance, a place where even details were just as I would have chosen myself.

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“I retired and I needed a job,” came the simple explanation for the carved bear conservatory from the owner. Not in the financial sense of needing a job mind you, but in the sense of a hardworker with suddenly free days and an eye for an investment. That investment is Bear’s Place and it has landed immediately on my top five list of favorite places. We talked with he and his Girl Friday/bartender/Jane of all trades like fast friends, much longer than intended so that we would be returning in the glare of sunset and dark of night, but it was hard not to stay longer, so easy came the conversation, so much did both of us enjoy their company.

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Isn’t it strange to find new people and places that so coincide with your own self just at the same time as so much of the old is rapidly falling away? As the plates shift, new continents are made, new bridges appear, and what falls away will be forgotten nearly as rapidly as it sheds. That some of those things which fall away, while precious, have served their purpose, lilies of the damn field as it were. Or others were empty anyway, strangers playing at intimacy, a sort of brief distraction, a false front with nothing to be had inside, a precursory note at best with no intent of being fleshed out further, a caricature version of your real story, a distraction from the challenge of the bigger picture.


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To say we have a lot on our plate lately would be an understatement, so a review in the truer sense was not worth trying as I haven’t the time required to do Bear’s Place justice. Instead, a journal excerpt it is. However, Bear’s Place is phenomenally cool, a renovated 1960’s diner run by a super cool man and steeped in killer music by one of the best bookers in Fayetteville. Laid back and no b.s., the deck is perfect for relaxing or enjoy live music almost any night of the week inside. For more information, click here.

This entry was published on August 12, 2015 at 18:18. It’s filed under Destinations, Eats & Dives and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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