Thursday, September 24, 2009

Shinto Priest

Adam`s friend picked us up late in the evening.  We had about an hour and a half drive to his house and thought it wisely to spend that time over an intellectual conversation.  The conversation took a great leap forward when I found out that Adam’s friend was a Shinto Priest. 

Nori-san has been a Shinto Priest for over 10 years.  He has a wife and a daughter.  He smokes cigarettes and believes in reincarnation.  He speaks highly of Russian literature and connects souls of all living things.  It was an interesting lesson, to glimpse at the world through eyes of a young priest.

The next day, Nori-san had a full day planned out for me.  Watching the priest preparing to go out, I was taken aback.   Golf-shirt with the collar up, sports pants and crocs made the outfit.  However, when we walked outside, my surprise turned into shock.  I must have been too preoccupied with the conversation the night before to notice his car.  The Shinto Priest was driving an Alfa Romeo.  Cockily, it purred in agreement with my fascination. 

We were off to his shrine where Nori-san wanted to perform a ceremony to bless my travels. 

We pulled into a small parking lot in front of the shrine.  The wooden structure was aged and colorless.  The shrine smelled old but there was an scent of timeless wisdom in the air.  It wasn’t beautiful like the ones I’ve seen before but I knew that its beauty was contained within its priest’s heart.  Nori-san changed into his ceremonial clothes and proceeded inside. 

The sound of the drum, made my heart move in unison with an ancient tradition.  The priest sang a beautiful song of travels, souls, spirits and God.  His meditation swept me into memories of enchanted youth filled with music and fairytales.  I felt relaxed yet fully energized.

Our next stop was a medical center.  Nori-san has asked his friend if I could stay for a session of neuro-electro massage.  Slipping deeper into relaxation, I felt my muscles loosen and breathe slowed down.  The feelings of ease and contempt  filled me. 

My soul AND my body were completely rejuvenated. 

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