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The Shop Spilled Over

A waking vision, early 1890s, by AE (George Russell)

Once in an idle interval in my work I sat with my face pressed in my hands, and in that dimness pictures began flickering in my brain. I saw a little dark shop, the counter before me, and behind it an old man fumbling, with some papers, a man so old that his motions had lost swiftness and precision. Deeper in the store was a girl, redhaired, with grey watchful eyes fixed on the old man. I saw that to enter the shop one must take two steps downwards from a cobbled pavement without.

I questioned a young man, my office companion, who then was writing a letter, and I found that what I had seen was his father's shop. All my imaginations--the old man, his yellow-white beard, his fumbling movements, the watchful girl, her colour, the steps, the cobbled pavement--were not imaginations of mine in any true sense, for while I was in a vacant mood my companion had been thinking of his home, and his brain was populous with quickened memories, and they invaded my own mind, and when I made question I found their origin. But how many thousand times are we invaded by such images and there is no speculation over them?

--AE (George Russell)

SOURCE: The Candle of Vision by AE (1918), a fascinating manual for visionaries. The passage was untitled; The Shop Spilled Over added as a mere search aid. --Chris Wayan

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