Lost Tomes and Bag Pipes

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Such a beautiful word, and it always comes up when I speak or see images of Ireland or Japan. I have no idea why my soul yearns so desperately to reunite with places that really hold no pure meaning to my memories, and yet… I cry for something I have never set foot upon, let alone touched. Am I just letting my own imagination get the best of me, or is this a call from a soul that has long been buried in me that I have yet to speak with?

I was told a long time ago, when I was very young and also unbelieving of anything other than what my parents told me, that my soul is primordial. That in time my true self will come forth than what my personality reflected at that time. Of course, I found it to be utter nonsense when this person told me this, and only subjugated myself to what I had considered ‘real magic’ and mystery at the time. Which happened to be books.

I bonded so fast to books that harness the power of imagination so brightly, like Harry Potter, Tales of Earthsea, and Howl’s Castle Series. Consumed by the power of written wizardry, I couldn’t help but be amazed at how magic could feel so real in sentences printed onto paper. That, my friends, or at least at that stage of my life, was the real evidence that magic existed, only in the providence of my imagination.

It wasn’t until one day, I had stopped into Borders. It was summer, the heat of California was humid but not so bad that I could still tolerate wearing jeans and sneakers. Paper bills and coins in my pocket, ready to be spent on manga or otherworldly books, I went browsing through the aisles. In any given day, I would breeze by every other section without another glance and head straight towards the Otaku corner.

However, fate or maybe impulse stopped me in my tracks. A display of ornately designed tomes presenting themselves lavishly before a child like me. I should of just ignored them, but one book held me in a trance, its cover spread open like a hug. Beckoning me to come forward and embrace what secrets it had held within its bindings. A picture of rocky cliffs and sprawling emerald whispering to me to take a glance.

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Unfortunately, this isn’t the exact photo of the one I saw in that book, but it was the Cliffs of Moher that drew me. It sang to me like nothing I have ever felt or even yearned for. It was crazy at the time, because I felt only words could lure me, but this… it was a strange yearning.

As if I knew this land from long ago, a familiarity of having stood upon the edge of the cliffs and breathing in the perfume of the sea. But the problem was, I never really cared for things like travel books or anything nonfictional, and I certainly had never stepped foot or remembered any time I had been to this land. Yet, I heard the whispers of magic emanating from the soul of the portrait, my hands shakily picking up the book and touching the photo with a gentle caress.

It was then, the words of that elderly psychic came dancing back into my thoughts, “your soul is primordial.” I remember shaking my head, no such thing as past lives, no such thing as magic other than in fiction, and there was no such proof that you could be reincarnated. Mind you, I was always taught to be very closed minded about everything, and when you’re a fourteen year old who doesn’t know a thing about life other than what school teaches you.

Anything considered paranormal was not practical or logical in any sense or form, but then why… Why was I held captive by this book? I reluctantly, placed it down after much coddling of telling myself that there was no place for this book in my shelf. Since I didn’t have a big bookcase or even a section in my house to have such a tome on display.

But… the images of Ireland never left me, it haunted me, and it sang a distant melody that I can’t ever figure what the words meant. It was like I was a haunted house, filled with emotions and thoughts that were not my own. A specter of longing that has never left my soul alone.

Years have passed since Borders closed, and that book was never seen again. Just like something out of a fantasy novel written by practiced authors. Yet, the pictures are now easily searchable, the music is now easily obtainable and I could identify the language that I kept hearing in my mind; Celtic.

Wild embers of a life that have laid sealed for centuries, come to life in the midst of music, sounds, and pictures of a land that is foreign, and yet… holds me close like a lover.

Fernweh.

It calls.

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3 thoughts on “Lost Tomes and Bag Pipes

  1. My father is Indonesian and I visited his country a few years ago for the first time and it felt like coming home even though I had never been there. It felt and smelled familiar on a level that was slightly disturbing since everything I saw and experienced was new.

    Liked by 1 person

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