My boyfriend and I spent the weekend in a mountaintop cabin just outside of Asheville in Swannanoa. The last month, since Christmas really, has been nothing but doing things neither of us wanted to and missing one another in a number of ways while doing it. Asheville was a way to tuck back in some of those strands that had started to unravel around the edges of Us.
We went to a used bookstore downtown. I was really excited about the shitty hippie stores. Had a checklist of things to bring home including obscure incenses and a meditation cushion. Turned out the stores we found were actually shitty, not in the fun way but in the inauthentic way instead. I ditched my list and bought a giant holographic OM sticker.
He got a COEXIST sticker for the Comanche.
We were both surprised.
So I fell back on the bookstores in lieu of the scented stuff stores. The Asheville used selection was kind of a dream. Wheels of Light, a book on chakras with incredible illustrations was one. Shamanic Traditions, another. A yellowed Chogyam Trungpa book on meditation in action.
He bought the biography of Gandhi.
The book on Shamanism, this yellowed paperback. Literally looks like it would be a circa 1986 romance novel if you blurred your vision for a moment. It is basically a guidebook on becoming a shaman. I am not suggesting this is the end goal. It is not. I feel successful when completing small tasks and am reserving shamanism for several lifetimes from now. But this book got me when it spoke of vision, of journeying, of basically the stretching the imagination to almost a lucid, dreamlike state. I’ve often and unfortunately so, thought of imagination as a weakness. Get with it! Walk it off! My boyfriend however, he lives for it. A happy being and a summer camp counselor, imagination is not a weakness to him. Me? I swore I didn’t even have an imagination. The shaman in my life once explained to me I needed to start to look for the good one, the good kind of imagination. Not the one that tells me I am bad all the time, but the one that would allow me to start to envision what it is I want. So I have listened and as it turns out that yellowed paperback, the woods and the mountaintop and this happy being wanting to coexist have aided in the clearing of underbrush in the ramblings of my mind. Not only allowing but also welcoming my vision, my hope, my dreamlike thing a space to inhabit after all.