Shaman Story Chapter X – The Wild, The Shadows

[I mentioned in Shaman Story Chapter 5 – Lessons that chapter numbering would get wonky as Shaman Story is a work in progress. This week’s entry bears that out, as it comes before chapter 6 and after chapter 5. So far. I think.]

Read Shaman Story Chapter 5 – Lessons.


Shaman Story Chapter X – The Wild, The Shadows

 
Grandpa teaches me about Shadows. We walk through a forest and greet everyone we meet. “Hello, Tree! Hello, Ash! Hello, Ant! Hello, Spider!”

“Do you know who these are, Gio?”

“These are my friends.”

Grandpa smiles. “Yes, they are your friends. They are also Shadows.”

“Shadows?”

“Yes. Everything here is a shadow of what really is.”

“The tree is not a tree?”

“The tree,” he points, “Is not Tree.”

“It’s a maple.”

He laughs. “That maple tree is not Maple.”

I hear the emphasis in his words.

“In all things, there is one which is the first of that thing. Everything else is a shadow of that first.”

I watch a snail inching up a birch. “Where is Snail, then?”

“A place of such brilliance it casts it shadow so every other snail exists.”

“But where, Grandpa?”

Home.”

A simple word. I hear the emphasis. Not where Grandma sits spinning threads, weaving, making me clothes. Some place other.

I put my hand by the snail. Its antennae tickle me. It waves them at me to see who I am. “Hello, Gio.”

“It knows who I am, Grandpa!”

“This is The Wild, Gio. Everything is known here. When you want to know something, go to The Wild. If there is an answer, you’ll find it.”

A raven comes. It flaps by the snail, snatching it in its beak, flying away.”

I cry.

“That is the way of The Wild, Gio.”

“That snail was my friend.”

“Is raven your friend?”

I sniffle. “Yes.”

“And the birch tree?”

“Yes.”

“But sometimes we cut down a tree for firewood. We load up the truck and take it home.”

I am confused and answer slowly. “Yes.”


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Sabine Rossbach’s Happy Hour – 14 May 2020 Interview (wherein she waxes wonderfully about “Empty Sky”)

Sabine Rossbach is the wonderfully talented Luxembourg based actress and voiceover artist who’s blessing me with readings from my books. You can see the first one, a reading from my short story Cymodoce, here and on YouTube

 
You can hear the full interview on the ARA Happy Hour podcast which included several notables: Sandra Schmit, who started coronaliterature.org,

 
a journal entry by writer Jess Bauldry, a book promo and discussion with actress and voice talent Sabine Rossbach and a chat with author Jenna Liberatore, who shares a chapter in her new book.

And now, here’s Sabine!

 

Shaman Story Chapter 5 – Lessons

[Careful readers will notice the last listed chapter was numbered 3, this is numbered 5. The joys of a work-in-progress, I added a chapter after 1.]

Read Shaman Story Chapter 3 – Truth Like Wine


Shaman Story Chapter 5 – Lessons

 
Each day Grandpa and I practice. He never pushes me, never insists. Some days I want to play and he turns practicing into a game.

“Gio, you like Hide-and-Seek?”

He knows it is one of my favorites.

“I’m gonna hide and you come find me. Okay?”

Oh, yes. Very much yes.

He takes me to my room and lays me on my bed. “Close your eyes. No peeking.”

I scrunch my face and bury it in my pillow so I can’t see. “You can count to ten? Count to ten, then you come find me.”

Lower-Center-Relax-Breathe. The first lesson. Him, not me. I can feel it, feel him leave the room without him going anywhere. I’m still learning.

I count to ten. “Here I come, ready or not.”

I keep my eyes closed. I never leave my bed.


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Shaman Story Chapter 3 – Truth Like Wine

Read Shaman Story Chapter 2 – Listen


Shaman Story Chapter 3 – Truth Like Wine

 
Grandpa kneels on the ground and pats the freshly turned earth where he buried the cigarette, then looks up into the few cirrus clouds forming horsetails high in the blue sky. “People will come to you, asking you questions. Be careful what you tell them.”

“You said to always tell the truth.”

“To us. To me. To others…”

He lets it hang and I’m unsure. “Do you want me to lie to them?”

“No, Gio. Never that. Truth is like wine; a few sips and you smile and nod. Too much and you get a headache and your dinner goes plah on the floor.” He makes a funny face and I laugh, then gently turns me to face him. “You must tell the truth, Gio, but listen to them. Pay attention when you answer. They will let you know when they’ve had enough truth, then you stop.”

“How will they let me know?”


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Shaman Story Chapter 2 – Listen

Read Shaman Story Chapter 1 – What Do you do?


Shaman Story Chapter 2 – Listen

 
My grandfather taught me to listen.

Didn’t matter what people came to him for, he’d sit me on his lap, put a finger to my lips and whisper into my ear, “Ascolta.” Listen.

Have a sick child? Having a problem pregnancy? Is your horse lame? Your cow not producing milk? Is your husband a little worthless when it comes to his job in bed?

Come see Grandpa. He’s got the cure.

He got in trouble when women came to him because their husbands were impotent.

All those smiling women leaving the house? Today he’d be a YouTube sensation. Or on Oprah.

Or in court.

But he never did anything to them. Never even touched them. Sometimes he’d clap his hands, sometimes he wave his hands around in funny patterns, as if writing in the air.

Sometimes he’d close his eyes and hum some old Sicilian tune.

One time we were tending his roses in the garden behind the house. I pointed to the shed. “Do you want me to get the hose and sprinkler, Buppa?” Behind the shed, I heard the bees in the two hives Grandpa kept for honey.

He shook his head and held me close. “Close your eyes. What do you smell?”


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