Shaman Story Chapter 1 – What Do you do?


Today we start a new work-in-progress, tentatively entitled Shaman Story. I’m shopping around for cover images. This one is from an issue of the journal Shaman.

Hope you enjoy.

(and do let me know what you think)

Shaman Story Chapter 1 – What Do you do?

I’ll call her ‘Jan’. She sat in my living room, in the blue lounger in the corner near the bookcase holding my journals, and her brow furrowed as she scanned the titles; Nature, Science, Journal of Consciousness Studies, Cybernetics and Human Knowing, Linguistics, and, of course, Shaman (it’s good to know if anybody’s getting close). I’m up early on Saturday mornings, before the house is awake. The dog comes downstairs with me, goes outside to do his business, then goes back up to bed with Cheryl. I have an hour, sometimes two, by myself to practice, to read, to ponder.

I stood and motioned Jan to join me in the center of the room, away from any furniture, away from any walls.

She looked up at me, her blue eyes wide, wary. She stared at an angle, not full on, her powdered, mascaraed face slightly askew, her eyes snapping to the front door and back, judging her escape.

She thought we were going to talk. Lots of them think we’re going to talk. We’re going to talk and exchange ideas and they’ll tell me about their experiences and I’ll tell them about mine and we’ll shake hands when we’re done and part as friends, thinking we’re equals.

It doesn’t work like that.

And she asked for this.

I never offer.

“Stand in front of me, about a foot back. And take off your heels.”

“No, I’m comfortable in them.”

As I noted, preparing her escape. “As you wish.”

I offered my hand, helping her up. She stared at my open palm. Her hand rose and stopped about an inch from mine, hovering. Her nose crinkled.

“They’re calluses.”

Her hand continued.

“Good. Relax. Close your eyes.”

I separated my spirit-body from me and moved it through her and up towards the ceiling.

She rocked back. Her smooth-palmed hands with her perfectly manicured nails reached out clasping empty air, her arms flailing like a martial arts parody, her Neiman-Marcus peasant blouse ballooned as she fell, the designer holes in her designer jeans exposed smoothly shaved and tanned thighs as she hit the floor.

She looked up at me. “You pushed me.”

“It’s the heels. Your vanity separated you from the earth.”

She stayed on the floor, not moving, not getting up, not offering me her hand.

“You pushed me,” she repeated.

I walked around her and opened the front door. She crab-walked from where she fell to the lounger, her eyes leaving me only long enough to grab her things, then stood. She held her bag and pocketbook in front of her, a lifeguard keeping her rescue buoy between herself and a beach drunk, and looked for other exits from my living room

I backed away from the door, leaving it open.

She left.

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