Bookstore Writing

Something told me that my writing would thank me if I walked to the bookstore in midtown Manhattan. It wasn’t just any bookstore. But I was in New York for only one day, and my intuition seemed to say that I might remain among the books on analytical psychology for longer than planned. I reminded myself that I had no plan for what I would do inside those walls, except for buying a book or two. Sixteen or seventeen years had passed since the last time I’d been inside. I recalled that I stayed for a discussion, on a subject I couldn’t remember, and that several of us had sat in chairs in a circle and a Jungian analyst had led the discussion. I remembered thinking that I’d never imagined having such a bookstore experience. Why wouldn’t I allow myself to fantasize about pleasurable moments surrounded by some of my most favorite objects, books? Reaching this kind of mental state might’ve been what my writing needed, so I left the hotel, walked to my destination, and on the way, I realized that I’d forgotten about another part of my day, later on, in the late afternoon, which I’d planned. A friend of mine, a writer and a psychoanalyst, would meet me for coffee. There was plenty of time between now and then, and I realized that the coffee shop was near the bookstore. Once I was inside, before I’d started to browse, an idea for a story came to me, and I found the nearest chair, pulled out my hardcover journal, and wrote until the final sentence said I was done. Then a book on dreams found me, and I bought it and left. Back on the sidewalk, I wondered what had just happened, and nothing came to me, as if I’d awoken to images from last night’s dream.

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