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The Price of Salt

"A Thursday evening?"


"Ok.  Now the next difficult thing. . . time and place?"


I paused.  I considered the kinds of interesting things I've heard about.  The types of places my friend wanted to support.


"I'm trying to be creative. . . So Beyond Salt Spa? Trivia at the brewery?"


"Salt spa!!!" 🙂 with hearts "I haven't gone yet.  Have you?"


"Some people at work talked about it."


"I have been wanting to go."


My friend scheduled the session.  The salt cave was not available.  Between air and water, she chose water for the price of $50.  When we paid, we each actually paid $45 for 45 minutes.  That was easy math in my head.  The price of salt was one dollar a minute.  


It was difficult to imagine containing our long overdue conversation to forty-five minutes, except we had.  Perhaps the sensation of being closed in for counted time prevented us to spiral or delve unnecessarily into unnecessary details.  We carefully sifted our conversation through blue chakra light.


“Why did you pick the water room?  Why blue chakra light?”

My friend smiled knowingly, a justified response.  She wasn’t often wrong in her observations of people.  She rubbed my back and said, “The time available, but also water.”  She sighed.  “Water is about purification and cycles.  It heals and it moves on.”


On the drive home, my mind flipped through other prices for salt.  A colleague who created activities on the Kingdom of Mali shared that salt was as much or more costly than gold.  Today, salt is cheap.  26 oz of plain table salt is $1.99.  What can we do with that salt?  A thin circle of salt around a glass rim takes the sting from tequila.  A pinch of salt in dough brings out the sweetness of the cookie.  Tears.  The sea.  Sometimes salt is in overabundance at the heavy cost of water. 


Crying salt.  I had written such a substance into a fantasy novel.  This substance was the universe’s most desperate tears evaporated into stones.  The characters ground those stones into powder because in their whole state, the medicine was much too strong.


“What is it for?” A character asked, leaning closer.

“Too much and too many things.”


A grandmother cautioned, “Our sickness is only the pain of the universe redirected.  We deserve to share that with her, but when the demons sense it, they gather, and the sickness worsens.  This powder keeps them away until our shared burden lessens and shifts to someone else.”


Another character continues, “Protection comes with balance.  We cannot take the best and most we desire from the universe.  Crying salt’s color of water reminds us of what matters.” 


For some, crying salt could be used to travel through rock.  For others, it allowed them to hide and change histories.


Where what resonates like wisdom came from, I cannot say.  The universe, most likely, cycling like water.


I Googled the Kingdom of Mali and blue chakra light and the value of salt.  One final explanation caught my eye.


"In many religious practices and cultures, salt signifies preservation and the binding of a spiritual covenant. The use of salt in rituals, like sprinkling during ceremonies or forming protective barriers, showcases its significance in warding off negative energies and evil spirits. Its association with life-sustaining properties aligns with spiritual beliefs, as it mirrors the sustenance of both the physical body and the soul, reinforcing its revered status in the realm of spirituality."


​My friend exhaled her final words through salt particles I could not see settle on my skin.  “Can you visualize what you want?  Sometimes it’s as if you don’t think you deserve it.  I want you to be appreciated.” 


The price of salt was one dollar per minute, but that was not its value.  This normal Thursday evening was now my own moment with crying salt.  Unseen.  Powerful.  And still with me to describe and seal the promise made to myself. en.  Powerful.  And still with me to describe and seal the promise made to myself. 


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