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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Shaman Story Chapter 1 – What Do you do?

Hello!

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.


Greetings! I’m your friendly, neighborhood Threshold Guardian. This is a protected post and requires either General Membership (free) or a Subscription (various levels). Members and Subscribers can LogIn. Non members can join. All posts are free to all members save certain posts in the My Work category. Enjoy!