Have a Curious New Year!

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by cheri sabraw

If I could sprinkle you with pixie dust, hastening your flight to enlightenment (I might add) and bestow upon your gentle soul one quality that will invigorate your heart and vitalize your mind, I would.

Instead, I am escorting you inside a fragile old storefront disguised by dusty windows and translucent gossamer curtains. I turn the worn brass knob on the door and push forward with some concerted effort. A bell attached to the knob tinkles; the walnut floors, long overdue for a staining, whine at the pressure you apply. You, with your stylish heels, remind me to step lightly or better yet, fly.

We meet the proprietor, an old woman with few wrinkles and almond-shaped dark eyes, wearing a shimmering talisman that rests comfortably on her ample bosom like a golden egg resting in a large nest.

She asks who you are and you tell her.

“I am a distinguished engineer who designed the bridge across the street from your store. It’s funny (not really, I think)—I’ve never noticed your sign outside before or spent any time wondering what product you sell or anything. Why, I must have walked by this store a thousand times on my way to the hair dresser or to my office.”

She asks what you are thinking and you tell her.

“ Not much, really. I’m so busy, what with calculating the loads, bickering with the architect, and considering whether to use steel or wood, I’m usually consumed with the pedestrian and I don’t mean a human on foot. I do think, however, of dinner and what I will prepare and how much salt to use.”

She asks what motivates you in life and you blank out.

“ You know, I’ve not considered my purpose in life. I do know that I love to play solitaire on my iPad.”

And then the silence in the curio shop overtook both of us. A tabby cat padded by and sniffed your ankles.

I felt awkward, only desiring intimacy, so I spoke to you in my invisible voice. I murmured, “Have you ever wondered about or tinkered with or imagined the great mystery that is the life experience?”

It must have been the hot tea brewing in the corner of the shop, the Madeleine cookies, the porcelain teacups, the diminutive silver spoons, but whatever the reason, you spoke back to me in your own silent voice.

“No, I haven’t considered the mystery of life. I have no curiosity that I know of. How do I nurture my curiosity?

My heart swelled. It seemed that yours did too. The three of us sat down to tea on a petite table among the curios. That seemed to be a good place to start, I thought.

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About Cheri

Writer, artist, cable television host, grandmother to four!
This entry was posted in Education, Life, My fiction, My photography, Writing and Teaching and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Have a Curious New Year!

  1. shoreacres says:

    I think that shop may be entirely too elegant and refined for me, but goodness sakes, I do love that bunny. And I love feeling curiosity bubble up, so maybe I’d do all right at the table, after all.

    Happy New Year to you, Cheri. Who knows what we’ll find as we’re heading down the road?

  2. Brighid says:

    Curiosity often leads me on paths I didn’t even know where there. Enjoyed this piece. Happy New Year, Happy Life!

    • Cheri says:

      Thank you, Brighid. There are a number of themes in this piece. I hope at least some of them are deciphered…
      Happy New Year to you and your father!

  3. ShimonZ says:

    Best wishes for a very happy new year, The Rabbit is gorgeous. And curiosity is the spice of life. How nice to hear from you this morning.

    • Cheri says:

      And how nice to see pictures of you on your blog…I thought your tag on your masthead said “how one old man…” You are not old! And yes, if more people were curious, we would certainly learn more about life. The television and its many mindless shows have stifled the need to be curious. Shabbat Shalom and Peace to you and to Israel in 2016.

  4. potsoc says:

    Thérèse would have loved that curio shop. Happy New Year to the Judge, you and the Lab.

    • Cheri says:

      Oh yes…Hizzoner absolutely loves old curios shops just like Therese…I, well, so so…You and I can hang outside the door and solve the world’s problems. Happy New Year to you, Paul, and your whole family in Montreal!

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    Have a great day!

  6. Richard says:

    Round behind The Royal Courts of Justice in The Strand is Portsmouth Street. If ever you are at a loose end in the luncheon adjournment, wander there just to gaze at the revered London School of Economics, noted as the alma mater of one Andreas Kluth of erstwhile blogging fame, memory or figment.

    Writing and dreams bear much in common. Each is on the brink of awareness or sleep, where demons and angels gather to draw their subjects one way or the other: the demons to exaggerate and confuse over what is and what is not, the angels to restore tranquillity, reason and rest.

    As you turn away from the knot of students at the end of Portsmouth Street and retrace your steps, an image and a sign will flash across your view. Stand still, close fast your eyes, wait and then open them again. No, you are not mistaken. There before you is a living, actual, existing work of fiction.

    Hurry on by, resist the demons, prefer the reality of the law. Let not Curiosity tempt you into this Shop. Sleep tight tonight.

  7. Cheri says:

    Richard,
    First of all, nicely written!
    I’m curious….what is the “living, actual, existing work of fiction…”? I have read your words at least five times and am unsure.
    If you want me to suffer until I figure it, I respect you but a clue might help.

  8. Cheri says:

    No, not true. Very well written. Now I see after following your link. You are clever, Sir Richard. I will sleep tight tonight after driving home from Arizona in one day (that’s Hizzoner’s doing…) Good Night, All!

  9. wkkortas says:

    Without curiosity, the rabbit just walks by studying his pocket watch, and Alice is just another silly girl. To paraphrase the wonderful Louis Jordan, if you just stand there like a statue, Jack you dead.

  10. Cheri says:

    What a clever comment, especially with my featured photo. I know too many people who should be dead then. Here’s to falling down a rabbit hole!

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