I was shredded in a million wonderful ways. The effect was medicine.  At a weekend workshop in Zagreb, with the lovely Meghan Currie, I mentally, physically, deeply, burned the remnant crap from my system. The process smelled of salty bones, and my heart stretched wide open like a newborn baby.

That Saturday night I went for a Tomislav at Zagreb’s unassuming Bar Scala. This bar was so local that the only other tables were a crew of six out for cocktails and two older men watching National Geographic clips of a dog licking a deer’s ear and cats sitting on horses. The bartender was gentle. So gentle that when a pinecone fell from a wall display, he rushed over, cupped it tenderly and lofted it back onto the shelf like it was holy. I knew this place would nourish my soul, which I had tenderized earlier that day.

I was invited to the group as some flamboyant dancing commenced to a Serbian translation of “Rock Me, Momma, Like A Wagon Wheel”.

Of the two older men, the short one with a bed-tousled moustache requested a salsa tune and grabbed one of the cocktail girls. She heartily took one of his extended limbs. They swam in floor space—flailing their arms and rippling their hips like dipping their bodies in chocolate fondue. Then, she stood wide-legged and he dove underneath her, making it halfway through before doing The Worm.

The taller of the two gentlemen approached me. He spoke little English, but said with his palms raised, “You!”

I looked at him with moon eyes.

“Your aura!” he said.

I yelled back at him, “Your aura!”

And we hugged. It was a mutual exchange of pure bliss. Compassion consumed us. I was like some dry leaves that Meghan had steeped and I’d only just begun to unravel with strength and flavour and yummy hidden bits of the intrinsic.

I told them I was leaving because I had to practice handstands in the morning, but what I anticipated was digging for more of these precious golden nuggets of soul-cake.

A Sunday of arm-balancing was the perfect cohesive end to the weave of our weekend. I felt utterly cleansed and renewed—a sense that I could tap into my own pool of magic at any moment.

During my final walk back, I stopped at a local antique market. One table had an extensive stamp collection. The vendor flapped his arms at me. It was the aura-man from Bar Scala. We beamed.

I said “Stamps!” to which he replied, “Stamps!” like it was our own personal mantra. We nodded contentedly and parted ways like we’d both caught the same wave in life’s big energy ocean.

Rachelle Hicks

Contributing Writer

Rachelle loves details. She experiments with the small parts, the adjustments, the hidden , and changes of perspective in order to understand the whole.

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