The bell ringed to notify me someone was at the front desk. Out of habit, I glanced at the calendar for the date. It was January 14, 1977. Not that the date mattered so much here, but it does give some indication of who might be arriving this evening. I have been the facilitator at the Inn for as long as I can remember, but time here seems to stand still so memories are all I have. It was a dream that brought me here the first time to this picturesque place of beauty, fields and streams, forests and lakes. The Inn was an old, large wooden barn where craftsmen and women came to practice their art and writers, poets, artists, and philosophers came to talk and share their thoughts. I had the inspiration to bring all my favorite people here to share their stories and to inspire others. So that is what I did. The Inn is difficult to reach as it can not be located on a map and can only be found by those who have been given an invitation. My position here…I do not think of it as work…is to welcome the guests and to be of service to them in whatever way I can. I am the Gatekeeper of Inspiration. My name is Socrates Black…
I leave my study and head toward the front desk. Our arriving guest glances up from the oversized hood covering her head and partially hiding her face. As she pulls back the hood, I witness her renowned beauty. The room appears brighter with her presence. Her eyes are a steel penetrating gray. They focus on me as I walk behind the desk and reach for her room key from the cubbyhole behind me. I turn toward and face her. Her smile offers an invitation to engage. So I do.
“Bonjour Mademoisell. I am here to assist you with your transition in whatever manner you may require. You are free to call upon me at any time. You can meet the other guests this evening. They have been waiting for your arrival. In particular, Ms. Weil has asked that you be seated at her table. I trust this meets with your approval. Cocktails and tea will be served starting at six and dinner will be served at seven, but these are merely arbitrary numbers. There are no clocks here to watch time move, so time is no longer a burden, nor is it a measure of existence. I will ring the chimes to announce the appropriate moment.”
“Thank you, Mr.?”
“Please, just Socrates, Ms. Nin.”
“How do you know my name. Have we met?”
“No Ms. Nin. As I mentioned, we have been expecting you. I am the one who sent you the invitation.”
“O’ In that case Socrates, please call me Anaïs, and thank you for the invitation.”
“Le plaisir est pour moi, Anaïs. May I show you to your suite?
The Gate Keeper Of Inspiration: Chapter One — Anaïs Nin will be published on Sunday, July 22, 2018.
Cover Art “Aries” by Emilee Petersmark.