Go play outside

imageLately I have been overtaken with the insatiable desire to linger in the raw, unmatched beauty of wild nature. Few things in life invite me to lose myself so completely as the wind in the trees, sparkling sunlight on water or the warm sweet smell that fills the forest in spring time. The impossibly perfect imperfections, elaborate iterations mingling with the empty spaces. The wilds of nature are my sanctuary, my rejuvenation, my inner peace. It is where I know myself and remember why I am. When these holy places call to me I have no choice but to listen. Then I am free.

 

Planting Maiz (a love story)

image

Where I am going the people still touch the earth. If I had not seen it myself, I would not believe that people still live and farm this way. They hold each seed in their hand, like their grandparents did. They plow the valley with their horses, listening to the birds and roosters and sheep sing. Your ancestors survived because they were proud keepers of this sacred maiz. And now so are you.

From the windows of our little brick house you can see the straight lines in the dirt. You can hear the men laughing as they sit beneath the shade trees enjoying their lunch. The horses stand and wait, drinking water. Children run through the dirt kicking over the tiny mountains of freshly plowed earth. The sun is shining. This is life.

Every man carries a bag of seeds. They walk down the rows dropping seeds, one by one, kicking the dirt over the top with their feet. The valley is enormous and it is all planted this way. Each seed saved over from the year before. Footprints moving along the rows, quietly replanting what has grown before… Your great grandparents held these same seeds. Their babies were nourished from the same sun and water still sleeping inside this corn. Passed down from their hands and into yours. To awaken with your heart beat, your breath.

This corn will feed many families. We do not have money, but we have all this corn. We are rich.

I remember how we all climbed into the old pick up truck last year and drove down into the valley to check the corn. It was nearly harvest time. They brought the fresh ears of blue corn to Abuelita and I watched her take the kernels off with her wrinkled fingers and tuck them into her apron pockets. We had blue corn tortillas for dinner that night.

The people here laugh and smile more and feel life in a way that somehow eludes most of us living in the western world. Maybe they are lucky. Or maybe they know that they are taking in all the love their grandfathers have for them, consuming their entire history, ancestry, pride, and continuing the cycle with love for their children each and every time they eat their fresh corn tortillas.

Bricks and mortar

imageThis is it. This is our house in Mexico. This represents everything we have been dreaming about for all these years. This is the manifestation of everything we have sacrificed. This is what we are moving towards. This is our future.

It still needs a few things… But this time next year we will be plowing the valley with our horses and planting the blue corn saved from the best ears from this years harvest. It is ours.

Pink Flamingo

Pink Flamingo

Perched like a flamingo on a stone, my girl is making tortillas again. Pretty in pink, one leg still sleeping, unable to stretch it straight to stand up or really get around. She’s still my baby for a little longer learning to walk again…

Bandamax streaming ranchera music into my living room and pozole simmering on the stove warming the whole house, I sit on the sofa watching the eagles in the cornfield out my picture window. It’s March now.

If I close my eyes sometimes I can still feel it… But getting real, Mexico is still a far away dream.

Just out of reach we have a little house with brick walls, beautiful arches and a lush valley ready to plant. The roof is all we need now… Sunny skies there.

Another year and a half before I can cook on my fire though. Time to root down here again or that crazy wind might blow me away. I need something to hold on to. Change is calling and it’s not the change I thought was coming.

Rearrange. Reclaim. Renew.

Again.

The Road

The Road

At some point life must return to normal.

Eleven weeks have passed through which I have held the heavy without pause or even a second thought. Sometimes surviving means not thinking too much, taking what comes and doing whatever works in the moment even if it is miles from your truth.

You can go on like this for a while, then one day you wake up and realize the crisis is over. You made it through alive. The sun is shining, the horses have arrived and you have not stepped outside to stretch or take a breath since before the big day when everything changed and you hunkered down to wait it out.

Walking down this long straight country road I can see for miles. I can feel the sun on my face, the strength of the mountains and my own weakness from sitting up for so long with the world on my back. So many sunrises have gone unnoticed, so many moons gone forever. Sitting in the dark waiting makes you tired.

Drink water. Put your feet on the earth. Feel it.

It didn’t disappear even though I felt like I did.

When the fog begins to lift you slowly start to notice your surroundings again. You see what has become normal even though it really isn’t… You see the piles of plastic distractions purchased out of fear, sympathy, sorrow, meant to ease an unnatural transition, a trauma glossed over by pink princess presents. Pampers added to a trash can overflowing with disposable convenience, too many hours in front of the TV. Kitchen stocked with foods you would normally never buy and way too much time spent indoors, stuck.

Time to sift through the rubble left over from this disaster and build a life again. I’ve been here before. I know how to do this.

When I started making tortillas again I knew that I was coming back. Finally waking up from this long, disorienting sleep, now it’s time to clean house. How do I really want to live?

Time to ask Spider Woman, Na’ashjéii Asdzáá, to help me weave a new web. In the old days I would have piled some blankets in the back of the Subaru, headed out to spider rock and just sat there silent until she showed me something… This time I’ll dream about her in those quiet spaces that sometimes find me. Time to cedar myself off and start singing again. And start walking the road.

Sacred Space

Peeling paper from the walls like a snake shedding skin…

By the light of the full moon stripping glue and faded hearts that can no longer hide what lies within because what lies without needs a facelift and can’t cover the damage.

It’s broken.

With each page I peel I pray the all consuming sound of shredding will not wake up sleeping babies, peaceful dreaming in the next room because they don’t know what’s going on.

Demolition is dirty.

What’s revealed is years of neglect, holes and cracks, parts of paper that are so stuck they have tried to become part of the wall. But clearly they are not. Some want to be removed with force, to a soundtrack of chainsaws and a female punk singer, and the others need to be soaked in water, gently nudged in the right direction with a series of persistent strokes from a chisel.

It’s too late now.

Viewing damage done by sleepless woman he shakes his head in disbelief wondering what’s next but afraid to put a voice to it, maybe it will go away. When he looks again transformation will have taken over, womb room complete, prepare to be peaceful and pink.

Candlelight vigil to my spirit I finally rest, weary from working for years with no respite and let my breath out knowing comfort is mine.

I will finally heal the healer.