Thanks to everyone who helped us make it to nine years. We’re now the third oldest juice bar in Seattle metro area.
We’ve evolved from a place that makes eating veggies convenient and normal to a place that welcomes those who aren’t supposed to like veggies. Lately, we’ve been exploring how culture triggers our addictions to sugar and other drugs, legal and illegal. Our aim is to create an Alive Juice Bar where people can feel free enough from cultural constraints to examine societal norms as potential sources of our angst. It’s a place where we turn mainstream culture upside down just to see, as if a laboratory, what happens. What happens, for instance, when we encourage people to be assertive instead of polite? Kind instead of nice? Frank instead of euphemistic? What if we stop telling people we’re “fine” all the time and say instead that we’re in a lot of pain and are ok with it? What if we tell people it’s okay to feel anger and sadness, and to embrace such emotions to fight through the pain, just as a championship football player and a world class ballerina do? Would such an embrace bring us closer to the Dionysian spirit Nietzsche writes about?
Transform Beethoven’s ‘Hymn to Joy’ into a painting; let your imagination conceive the multitudes bowing to the dust, awestruck- then you will approach the Dionysian. (The Birth of Tragedy)
The Dionysian spirit finds strength and rejoices, not despite, but because of one’s own suffering, similar to how a brutally sacked quarterback gets back up to throw a game winning touchdown. People are suffering not because of their suffering, but because they’re uncomfortable with their and other people’s suffering. The source of the obesity and opioid epidemic is our fear of pain, even though pain is what makes life worth living.
Nietzsche predicted that a stifling mass culture would emerge from democratic capitalism. This culture, he warned, will subvert our instincts — that Dionysian spirit — to live nobly. And we’ll instead become slaves to envy and vanity, greed and sloth, and afraid of emotions such as anger and sadness. Watch out for that because the emotionally motivated pursuit of excellence, not freedom from pain and anger, is what affirms life and makes it worth living. We want to be the place where people can cultivate their pursuit of excellence by relieving themselves of the burden of trying to fit in with mass culture. We want to be a place of mischief.
We have a year left on our lease. Since complex anchor 24 Hour Fitness is moving, we’ll also be moving to be closer to where they’re moving, We’re looking at spaces now, including a high ceilinged space next to Juicy Yoga. We’ll likely bring the dance studio with us and will design it as a flexible space so it can double as a restaurant (Redneck Bistro) three nights a week. Let’s see what happens.
There’s a lot of work to do. Let’s do it, and let’s be troublesome about it. Agape.