Hungry ghost tales (I)

//Hungry ghost tales (I)

Hungry ghost tales (I)

A telling tale from the realm of hungry ghosts:

In the middle of summer, a small used-book shop on the Left Bank, in the rue Daguerre, announced that it would be closing. The owner said he had no choice but to close; he couldn’t sell enough second-hand books to make a living and pay the ever-higher rent.
I once bought a book there that I had been seeking for years (a study of Joyce’s work in French). The owner was happy to discuss it with me.
He sometimes served his clients tea. There was often jazz playing. He had regularly changed the books in the display window to protect them from the sun.
In the end, books were discounted more than 50%. The shop closed at the end of July.
When I passed by early this week, workmen were renovating the space. The next day, stylish shelves had been built along the walls. The following day, the new shop was open, bustling with the business of getting and spending, displaying its new merchandise: fashion accessories.

By | 2017-04-04T06:58:20+01:00 septembre 12th, 2009|Textes|3 Comments

About the Author:

Enseignante Zen et poète, Sensei Amy “Tu es cela” Hollowell est née et a grandi à Minneapolis, aux Etats-Unis. Arrivée en France en 1981 pour étudier la littérature et l’histoire, elle y est restée, s’installant à Paris, où elle élève ses deux enfants et gagne sa vie en tant que journaliste. The Zen teacher and poet Amy “Tu es cela” Hollowell Sensei was born and raised in Minneapolis, but came to France in 1981 to study literature and history and has lived in Paris ever since, raising her two children and making a living as a journalist.


  1. Kate 14 septembre 2009 at 14 h 59 min - Reply

    "The wealth is not there; it’s right here."

    Here in our comments? Here in me? In my life? How can I see it?

  2. Tu es cela 14 septembre 2009 at 10 h 23 min - Reply

    Yes, this story is not about good/bad, profound/superficial. Or about happy or sad, beginning or end.
    Rather, as the title indicates, it’s "about" the so-called hungry ghost "mentality" that manifests all around, within us and without, when we fail to see things as they are.
    In traditional imagery, the hungry ghost is pictured with a very large belly and a very small neck; this reflects a huge appetite and no way to satisfy it.
    No books, tea, jazz, fashion accessories, money will ever be enough.
    The wealth is not there; it’s right here.

  3. Kate 14 septembre 2009 at 8 h 21 min - Reply

    and so what do we learn from this story?

    fashion accessories is bad and superficial

    books and jazz is good and profound

    off course not! so what?

    it reminds me that in life, as oposition to the movies, the story not always end with everyone happy ever after

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