Winter days at Khazana are meditative. They are darker and quieter than sunny spring and fall days, when the windows open with the shop doors in the morning. They are colder than summer days, when the air conditioning blasts on high. Despite its stillness, the shop continues to draw inquisitive customers.
Figures bundled in dark puffer jackets and fleece quietly crack open the front door, which, sheltered by a cozy stoop, allows in just a gasp of frigid city air. The stories they tell me, the shop-keeper with the thick-rimmed glasses and heavy dark bangs, are generally very similar. “Years ago, a friend gave me a ring, and told me she’d bought it here. Now I want another!” Or, “just browsing,” perhaps half not wanting to bother me with their indecisiveness, and half not wanting me to take advantage of it.
Quite frequently, people explain that they’ve passed the ivy-covered building dozens of times, walking to and from work, the neighborhood coop, a nearby yoga studio, but never bothered to enter. They look down, or over their shoulder through the bay windows behind them to the sidewalk outside- they’ve walked it on so many occasions. Their postures are guilty, as if to express that they’d meant to stop in, that they were supposed to be here, and that they have finally, finally arrived. Today is the day.
In the moments after an individual expresses their regret at not having arrived sooner, I often wonder whether they could have been here sooner; that is, whether their intentions to visit Khazana could have overcome the physical forces around them keeping them out of Khazana. Admittedly, pondering the reality of free will while welcoming a someone to an art gallery is a bit odd. But it seems to fit the slower, Minnesota winter atmosphere. And Khazana’s customers are, on the whole, very sympathetic to slow puzzlers like myself. Moreover, I think (and hope!) that my pensiveness lets people know that they’ve arrived at just the right time.