"There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in."
The late singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen wrote in his song Anthem, “There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” At no time has this metaphor stood up to the litmus test of reality better than in the talking walls of Carabello Coffee in Newport, Kentucky.
In 2015 Emily and Justin Carabello, owners of the coffee shop, looked up to see a mother and her two daughters crying and hugging in a corner booth. Soon after, they were seen writing something on a piece of paper and then wedging it between the bricks.
At this point Emily and Justin inquired as to whether they were okay, and about what they were sticking in the wall. The woman explained that she and her daughters had decided to meet at the coffee shop, as this was the one-year anniversary of her husband being taken by cancer. One of them had noticed a tiny note sticking out of the wall, held between two bricks. Curious, they opened it, read it, and were struck by the hand-written message inside. The words were intended to give hope to someone dealing with loss. That was coincidence enough, but not what brought tears and clutching arms. The final words of the note read “Cancer sucks.” Incredibly, these were also the last words of her late husband and the girls’ father.
The three decided to write a note of their own and place it in the crack in the wall, in hopes that the message would mean something to someone else. And, surely it did. No one seems to know who crafted and placed note #1, but there are now dozens of notes in the brick walls of Carabello Coffee. They come and they go. There are light-hearted messages, profound encouragements, poems, doodles, and laughs to be found here at the coffee shop.
Carabello Coffee has cracks in the walls. That’s how the light gets in.