Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Bohemian Exchange

A few days ago whilst peddling my cookies on Abbot Kinney, I stopped into The  Bohemian Exchange to visit the owner, Deborah, and drop off her usual chocolate and coconut cookies. Deborah and her shop reflect that eternal time in our history when medieval fantasy and flower children thrived. Between Deborah’s genuine embodiment of the vibe and her mish mash of color, texture, incense and eclectic around the world paraphenalia, her shop continues to thrive during these challenging times.

On this particular day, Deborah was out of single dollar bills and needed to round some up; hence I babysat the shop for her! The shop had been totally empty all morning and of course moments after I donned the overseer’s cap customers began to appear. The first was a bright brunette woman  on a quest for feathers.  Feathers! She had never been here before but her intuition was obviously pulsating well as she landed in the motherload! There were feathers on masks and feathers on sweaters and feathers on hats and feathers as just feathers to wear clipped into one’s locks. These are the ones that drew her. Of course I had no idea how much they cost and as there are few price tags in this store we were both hookwinked until Deborah returned, and so she played.

After decorating herself with a few and narrowing her choice down to three, she turned to me and clipped one into my hair saying, ‘With your hair surely you should wear one too!”. I told her quite definitively that I am not a feather person. To which she responded “Oh? And what kind of person are you?”

And so I sit, still quite stumped. At that time my mind raced  towards the giant hibiscus that sits on the back porch. No. And then to meadows full of flowers and then rose gardens and then essential oil bottles and lotions and bubbles and then  to trees and clouds and stop!

Was this a question of adornment or collection or spiritual symbols?

And then I knew. All and none.

This entire chapter for me has been about letting go. The leaps and leans of the past towards specific objects such as elephant figurines or delicately jeweled necklaces or dancing violets or tuberose/gardenia perfume or Venetian glass or mystical card decks or burning candle flames, all have been ‘mine’ but are no longer!

I’m writing this in the middle of the night. It is raining in Santa Monica and its sound in the quiet of the night is music. I am in heaven in this moment. Being alive and well and peaceful and in this world where every moment is bursting with possibilities and gifts.

And I shall never look at a feather again without hearing the question “What kind of person are you?”. Thank you, wherever you are, beautiful feather girl.

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