the setting

Posted: November 11, 2011 in stories

My mom decided to open a shop when I was a teenager. She didn’t have a business degree. She was a certified practitioner in Reiki and Shiatsu, a semi-precious stone specialist, and chiefly, a professional journalist, publisher and editor with her MFA in creative writing.

She opened Melvyn’s Living Room, a curio shop by day and the Okanagan Institute by night. She invited her friends to come teach classes. They held workshops for a variety of things including journalism, storytelling, comic book writing, screenwriting, creative writing, alternative healing, chakras, crystals, African drumming, and improvisational comedy; they held smudge ceremonies, crystal bowl concerts, holiday get-togethers, and several other events. We became experts in the otherworldly, the realm of both writing and the metaphysical.

With no business plan, too much overhead and not enough underneath, the business folded. It was never really supposed to be a successful business; it was supposed to be an amazing one.

To this day I wish I had not been a part of making the big decisions. My mom trusted the advice of everyone, a yes-only kind of attitude that has both expanded her periphery and disappointed her greatly. Maybe if the shop had continued the way it was, a  humble space on Westside Road, before we got lost in the small city of Kelowna, it would have become profitable one day.

A new movement of teachers has taken up the franchise of the Okanagan Institute. They hold their meetings (which are well-attended) at the Bohemian Bagel Café in my former hometown of Kelowna, BC, Canada.

I am on the other side of the planet, yet I still think about those amazing nights in that little shop where we learned the secrets of the world, the world I am now surrounded with.

  1. Hez says:

    I miss those snowy nights sitting there and rehearsing! I had totally forgotten about that. Awe how I want to go back to that time sometimes for memories like those…

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