Deep: (adv) vast, profound or intense.
It was a brilliant piece of stagecraft.
Of course, at the time, nobody was fully aware of what stagecraft was, so certainly unacquainted with how to employ it.
But since it was a small room with limited beauty in its structure—and very few people were in attendance—turning all the lights off and hitting the center of the tiny stage with a spotlight granted an atmosphere to imagine any place in the world one might want to be.
They called them coffeehouses.
I suppose coffee was consumed but eventually, tea became the favorite, and somebody always brought along some sort of crunch or sweet to go along with the brew.
The goal was simple: to sit and listen to artists-in-training sing their songs, speak their verse or simply expound on thoughts while the audience remained silent, receptive and looking deep.
Yes—deep was a “look.”
It was a concentrated, fixed glance, eyes partially closed, suspended between focus and sleepiness.
We wanted something deep.
We wanted to be able to talk about it.
We wanted to seem deep, talking about deep things.
We were willing to come out to buildings which might need to be condemned, to sift through the illumination produced by the art around us and think about better ways to access untouched feelings, wishes and hopes.
As long as you didn’t take this “journey into the deep” for too long, it was delightful.
As long as you kept the lights low, it was possible.
And as long as there was someone up on the stage who knew four chords and a basic rhyming scheme, it was plausible.