I have moved back into my study after one week of offering the room up to an old family friend while she was here visiting her mom in hospital. It was so long since I saw Jorry last that it seems totally surreal to think the actual number of years, so I won’t put it down, because more important than that absurd actuality is the fact that it seems like no time has really passed between us in terms of our naturalisation to one another and, especially, to the mutuality of our world view. That is: she’s a hippy kid from Lund, too.
I spent the week being sick, which amounted to being brain-dead and lethargic quite a lot. I think I mostly may have bored the germs to death, though, because in the past when I’ve had this bronchial thing it has been much worse and involved more fever and sweating. This time the main act was laryngitis involving the total loss of my voice for a few days. I spent the majority of one of those days at Discovery Coffee on Oak Bay Ave (in other words, out in public), pretending to get work done but actually blogging and otherwise messing around. It was a little strange but kind of fun to not be able to talk, and to see how people reacted to that. One thing I appreciate about what I take to be the current social pastiche is that pretty often, pretty much anything goes.
Prarie and I went into the bookshop on the avenue today that I was vaguely aware existed. I feel a bit silly for not having checked it out yet. I liked the way the shop was laid out with little colonial relics neatly placed about, obscure and utterly dry framed pictures, probably of boats (I didn’t actually bother looking at the pictures, just at their placement, which included being hung below eye-level), hanging on the ends of freestanding bookcases, clever bookends holding up things besides books, nice high ceilings and lovely bookcases with sliding ladders on rails, and curios here and there including a safari hat hanging on a back wall. A very wrinkly and white and dim atmosphere altogether. And then practically nothing in the philosophy and religion sections, apart from some random (probably bad) books on Christianity and then several on Buddhism and “Eastern philosophy” that looked like they came from the same box from someone’s ex-library. It occurred to me that the books I’d like to find there are not there because they are still among the personal libraries and studies in the big old homes in these old Victoria neighbourhoods. I am aware that this is a nice fantasy. It also occurred to me that the bookshop is someone’s pet. The piles of books on the floor behind the cash desk and the shelves behind there with their books that you can’t get your hands on unless you ask, and the slowness involved in making a purchase, all made me believe that the bookshop is a pet.
I brought home an illustrated book about unicorns, which I have decided is apropos to utopian studies, though perhaps a little far from back-to-the-land intentional communities. Or not. The mythical, unfindable, ultimately desirable magical animal has certainly functioned as a symbol during my childhood, along with the mandalas and rainbows and everything else. Which I have been finding highly entertaining for a number of years now. But suddenly today it’s making a new kind of sense: the bizarre way life’s insistent repetitiveness fits together as you go along.
. . .
I looked for an image of a unicorn to illustrate this post, but I became discouraged by all of the weird porn mixed in with all the cutesy stuff, and now I think it better to just leave it alone for a while.