The Red Book

Last week I went into Malaprops with my daughter. We had some time to browse prior to a reading I was doing at Posana. I bought some Moleskins for a workshop group for the following day, some pens. I bought my daughter a pair of journals, one for her and one for a friend. I was paying for it all when I saw it. The Red Book.

The secret book by Carl Gustav Jung, sealed away in a chilly Swiss bank for a century and now sitting before in all its red immense glory, beckoning to me. Not saying "buy me, buy me, buy me" (though I knew I would) but rather "open me, open me, open me."

Let me tell you a thing about me and books.

When I took a group of my boy students (as their teacher at a boys' boarding school) to go see the Dead Sea Scrolls in Charlotte five years ago, by the time I exited the exhibit, they'd all found new girlfriends and had bought them sodas. I had spent that long looking--no: gazing--into the strange cases built to house them, complete with low lights on timed dimmer switches so the paper bears the weight of light, and sight, for only seconds at a time. I swear I wanted to see every stroke of whatever language they were written in. Not that I could read it, but I know there's power in the word, and there's greater power in words written in that metastate of illumination.

"What are you?" I whispered to them, under my breath, but no low enough for the Rabbi standing near me to hear, close his eyes and nod very slowly in agreement with my awe.

I don't take these matters lightly.

So, there was the Red Book. "Please," I said, unable to complete the request. And within a moment, this enormous book was under my hands. I touched it first, much in the way I touch a horse as I move alongside its enormous body, toward its face, careful not to startle it, careful to let it know I"m here.

I opened it. . .


Popular posts from this blog

The Suicide Push

How Asheville Can Win The Battle of Busk

The Hauntings of Internment, with job descriptions for working with interned children at the border