Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Time Travel Tuesday- A Memory of the Future

Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.
-Henry David Thoreau
For today’s Time Travel Tuesday- I went in search of the perfect shelf. Not just any shelf. It has to be trend setting but classic at the same time. It has to showcase originality while offering room for a well-appointed blend. Above all, it has to be sturdy enough to hold the substantial weight of my dreams. I spent the morning perusing bookstore shelves and imagining the perfect spot for my brainchild.

Forgive me for calling my beloved baby “It”.  I am still like an expectant mother who hasn’t gotten the ultra sound yet. As the due date gets closer, a fitting name will emerge. In the big box store, my It didn’t quite fit in the biographies section. I couldn’t see It sandwiched between the celebrity memoirs and ordinary people overcoming horrific obstacle stories. Even if the biography section is the same place where you will find the famous self-discovery gimmick memoir Eat, Love, Pray. Parenting?  Nope. I envision It would be happiest next to books like Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin in personal development. Sure, that is the land of Wayne Dyer and Louise Hay books , which seem too steeped in self-help and too serious to play in the same sandbox as my precocious little It.  But the personal development section offers a welcoming diversity. I picked out some future pals to keep It company. From bestsellers like Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach to The Buried Life’s What Do You Want To Do Before You Die? The latter was made into an MTV reality documentary about four dudes road tripping their way to 100 outrageous bucket list must-do’s. I see my yet-to-be-named It swapping equally outrageous stories of the formative blog years. I can clearly imagine a tease on It’s jacket about crashing weddings and searching for the most magical town.

My children can effortlessly conjure up vivid images in their mind. For me. I must have a sensory experience to build upon. On this particular Time Travel Tuesday, I created a memory of my future, if that makes any sense. I paid close attention to who would look at my It and It’s shelf. I tried to take a mental picture of the young woman shyly stealing a glance and the grandmother who was squinting for a closer look at a back cover. Before leaving, I turned around for one last look at my shelf before heading to a mom and pop bookstore that is a cultural institution in Florida.

Haslam's opened in 1933 as an exchange of used books and magazines. Today, the third generation family-run business is Florida’s largest new and used bookstore. It is dingy, eclectic and altogether fabulous with 300,000 titles in 30,000 square feet. When I checked out at the big box store, my receipt came with a list of computer-generated reading suggestions based on my purchase. When I checked out at Haslam’s, the store’s resident cat, Tea Cup, jumped up on the register and begged for a treat. I hand fed Tea Cup while the clerk chatted about new arrivals and the groovy new coffee shop that recently opened next door.

I imagined inviting family and friends to my first book signing in this special place that has thrived through the Great Depression, The Great Recession, Amazon and Kindle. I staked my claim on a shelf in the psychology section because a personal development section is new age, not old school. There is no personal development section  at Haslam’s. I don’t know what was better about my shelf. The fact that you can see a vintage 21-volume collection of C. G. Jung’s complete works one row over or that the children’s section begins one row away in the other direction.

Actually, I couldn’t imagine a better place for It, no matter what shelf It lands on. I wondered why the new release The Secrets of Happy Families shares space with about a dozen featured dog books near the front door.  The clerk reasoned “people buy books with dogs on the cover like crazy. It doesn’t matter that Secrets of Happy Families has nothing to do with dogs. The fine folks at Haslam’s wanted to put the new book in a place where people would most likely check it out. Sounds reasonable to me. Now, I am imagining how I can squeeze a picture of a puppy on It’s cover.

How do you visualize the details of your dreams?

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