Sitting Together in the Light




It is time to revisit Ernest Hemingway’s poignant masterpiece, “A Clean Well Lighted Place.” It is a short story about a cafe which shelters the lonely and distraught, affording them safe harbor for a few hours. A clean well lighted place where one can feel at home. A place where “everyone knows your name.”

An older waiter is convinced that all is “nada,” nothing, meaningless and that his elderly customer is there to push the nothingness away for a while because “This is a clean and pleasant cafe. It is well lighted. The light is very good and also, now, there are shadows of the leaves.”

Isn’t that all each of us desires, to sit with someone in the light when “nada” starts closing in? Let’s do that for one another when we feel hopeless, when panic pushes up from our gut threatening to take over our lives. Be that clean well lighted place, a safe haven for one another.


An old codger on a bar stool
Spins victory vignettes
Swaying in sync
With the melodies of stories
That play in his head
Hoping for a listener to relieve him
Of the nothingness that calls him
To the warmth of the cafe.

RIta H Kowats 1-27-2017


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5 thoughts on “Sitting Together in the Light

  1. Thanks, Rita. I think that all of us hunger to be seen and heard. Maybe it isn’t everyone, but I know that hunger lives in me and find it in many others. I’m thinking its a basic human need. Now is an opportune time to remember that for one another.


  2. My dear Rita! I really appreciate your your deep wisdom and insights! You feed my soul! How are you doing? Really miss you! Will call soon. Love and hugs, Joyce

    Sent from my iPad



  3. Lovely poem…and thought. Just this morning I emailed an upstate New York friend that I wished we lived close enough to share lunch and conversation more often. It’s so GOOD that we have this blog space to at least share space virtually (and spiritually). Now, do tell me where I can find this Hemingway of which you speak?

    Liked by 1 person

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