But I’m still fascinated by the signposts that strangers follow to get here. Because as we know this little shop isn’t clear on the maps, and permanent ink never does what it claims to. So people gaze deep into their teacups and see the fortunes the leaves spell out to them - sometimes the message is clear, and those people end up here.
Recently someone called in the hope of finding ‘how do you loop jelly bracelets on your wrist’ - sadly I have no idea, although I’m sure it’s a useful skill to know. Another came looking for ‘Tales from the Rainbowed Seas’ - but I was all out of stories that day and even my poems were coming through in black and white. Lots of people seem interested in the path ‘through boredom into fascination’ - and so am I, but I’m still perfecting my route. And someone unnerved me a little by looking for something that says ‘Horror is important. It reminds you that you can bleed. It scares the life out of you just to show you how safe y…’ which is strangely familiar, in fact I’m sure its something I said once before. But it seems like some nasty creature, hungry for overblown words, ate that traveller before they arrived, so we’d best keep our voices down.
Once upon a time my signpost was newly painted and the destinations clear. But the weather came and flaked the paint and made some of the letters disappear. For the record, I gave up travelling when I learned to walk - I gave up praying when I learned to talk. But if I can make a pilgrimage then my holyland is beckoning - and its a place of shadows and spotlights with shabby gods dressed in unlikely suits. And for nothing more than the hymns we sing its worth abandoning without and stepping within.