Where have all the record shops gone?


Somewhat unrelated urban photo…

I’m sitting in a crumpet shop when I over hear a snippet of conversation. If you don’t know what a crumpet is go to The Crumpet Shop and get one. They’re amazing little butter absorbing delights that I might compare to English muffins except that they are infinitely superior. I’m having mine with pesto and ricotta when a woman starts up a conversation with one of the employees. He’s saying that he grew up in a small town (somewhere in the middle) and moved here because there just wasn’t anything there for him, no jobs, no opportunity. She says she had a similar experience but in a nearby town, Enumclaw. She starts describing it and I can only hear bits and pieces of the conversation. She had reasons for leaving, but it did have this one thing. She said it had this great old record shop she loved. The owner had previously owned a record shop in a city but had moved to Enumclaw and set up shop there. I missed part of the story but she was talking wistfully about the store and how it was so sad that it had closed down.

It’s interesting timing because I just drove through Enumclaw very recently. I was heading out to the mountains with Partner to go backpacking. We drove through and were talking about what an interesting little town it was. Something about it piqued my interest. Just odd little things. Peering into the warm bright interior of a pub we saw a man with an eyepatch sitting at the bar. There’s a beer place called “The Filling Station” for filling growlers. It’s not the sort of place I would have expected to have a well-stocked record shop. But then, I’m clearly not giving the place enough credit. Perhaps I need to let go of my snobby city-person expectations and go find out what Enumclaw is actually like. I think that unexamined assumptions are the death of real learning. So I will drop my assumptions and learn about the little town that gave rise to a record shop that has grown so large in the memories of those who still remember it. I want to know that story.

And so I shall investigate.

Yoga: what exactly are we doing here anyway?

a meditation

It wasn’t until I lost my yoga studio that I fully appreciated its value. It was a little locally owned place. It was the best studio I’ve ever had the privilege of visiting. It was one of a kind. Now a condo building stands on the ground it touched. Many of the classes I’ve tried since then have felt more like aerobics than yoga. Asanas recited in their english names and a room full of people following dutifully. But it lacks soul. It’s missing whatever magic it was that left me wiped clean of all tension. That loosened the tight places in my heart, if only for a few hours. Yoga unwound what was knotted and healed what was broken. It felt like a kind of magic.

Do you know the sort of yoga I’m talking about? It’s difficult to explain because I honestly have no idea how it works. Or at least I didn’t have any idea before. I went to classes but I had never really learned about what yoga actually was. So when my yoga studio closed down and I couldn’t find that level of relief in any of the studios I tried, I began to seek it on my own. Continue reading