Archive for category Memoir
The trip to the current location of the Huichol village is by foot and it takes a long time. Their people are almost completely untouched by the modern world and have remained thus for thousands and thousands and thousands of years. In 2009 almost nothing is any different in their world than it was thousands and thousands and thousands of years ago: Descendents of the Aztec.
It is legend that when Cortes arrived on the beach he was so taken by the beauty and serenity of the land that he built a church to show an everlasting truce between the people of that land and the kingdom of Spain. The church remains in the village on the sea, the Huichol went deep– four days deep into the jungle.
We take the zebra-horses.
For a long time we walk the zebra-horses; through dry riverbeds, rounding gravely path corners to let mules pass as they are dragging loads of palm fronds down from the jungle mountains where there’s a bit of rain up there and the leaves are thicker. It’s where we are headed up to the mountain ravines, the mountain waterfalls, and the mountain rivers.
It is so dusty though.
Winding our way up until we are on a narrow path that the horses navigate slowly, with cliff on one side, ravine on the other.
That mountain path on horseback, felt my mount’s hoof crack on the rock,
As a mountain lion cleared the trees right before me and as the ravine rose up before me, I try not to squeeze the horse, I hope he doesn’t notice the big cat with yellow eyes up in the tree.
We are going to find the waterfall and meet the Huichol half way who are coming down for the luna de la lluvia that will take place on the cliffs overlooking the sea under a full moon in three days. The sacred peyote Huichol rain dance ceremony under the moon.
There is said to have been a murder of a tourist by a man who used to live in the village. It’s unclear where the murder happened. I hope he turns himself in, whoever did it.
Ana reported Montezuma’s revenge, she pronounced it “typhoid fever.” We all felt terrible for her and stopped swallowing water in the shower.
One day some students who were a few villages over teaching local farmers how to compost and use alternative energy came and stayed for the weekend in tents in the campground area of the villa. We all went swimming. It was a hot and sunny junio Jalisco day drinking stoned not paying attention to the tide. The jellyfish are a social creature too. We tried to get away, but the faster we swam, the closer they got, until it was too late. Hot sunny blue water jellyfish I cringe to this day.
A young Huichol Indian family journeyed to the village with their tiny papoose who didn’t wear any clothes. Why should he?
The dad was 16, I found out and so now they were kids who were running away he tells Isabel in Huichol and broken Spanish. They know each other because she has purchased his art and sold it before in California and he has brought some of his art with him and wants her to sell it for him so he and his bride can be together with their baby.
While he explains I take her and their baby down the twisty path through the jungle, down to the tranquila Bahia, the sparkling sea and we go swimming. The baby is delighted and so is the girl and the light to sun sparks rainbows in their eyes and in the droplets that splash around us. She speaks no Spanish. I speak no Huichol. I can’t tell her how adorable her baby is so we just laugh when he does and call it a day.
After dinner I search the linen closet in the main house for tiny rags to use as diapers and a bin of sorts for baby washing, soaps and creams and blankets, whatever I can find and take it to her.
The next day I leave the village by boat to stay for a few days at Isabel’s city house.
There’s some distant things that are hollow sounding and distant things that pull me along with far flung promises and distant things that dig me deep and knowing. I try everyday to step forward along the russet colored sky bent down banana trees little hermit crabs crawling to and fro getting ready I wonder how they know, and all along the horizon bits of angel feathers float down to land at my feet they have red tipped quills reminiscent of every single time I took the easy way out and let the lies cool on the windowsill. It is trying me trying me the way the Spanish words are jetty on the cool blue ocean waves and sand sinks into the margarita glass and causes sadness and worry, give me your Jalisco, give me your little dogs all hungry and sick from eating red scuttle crabs and drinking salt water. If you don’t latch the gate they will come in late after you’ve been asleep and when you awake they have turned into armadillos with clackety claws tapping across the concrete to get out before I see them, but I see those armadillo dogs with wagging spitless tongues, ears cocked and listening.
I watched from the cliff the boats come in loaded with tourists I dig my toes into the crevice, my bare toes, squint my eyes and whisper to Pepé. Later I go to la cocina and cut mangoes into containers with Isabel, the matron, the art dealer the writer the keeper of the villa, Ana, the frail, olive skinned girl with big dark eyes and a British accent, and a woman from British Columbia who couldn’t take the heat and while she didn’t complain, certainly she wanted to. When a mango fell off the tree, landed on the roof and rolled into the court yard I went and got it. That’s how I might have first noticed the peyote in the terra cotta pot.
In the morning with the sounds of flopping fish on the rocks below and swooping gullet birds gulleting and gulleting how they are so gutturally inclined like snorting pigs with wings eating up the beach rocked flopping fish for breakfast. It sounded just like rain, those flopping fish. I swing off the bed and fling out to see, perched there on the cliff above the sea, hair messed up from sleep watching the fishermen with their boats make for the place with the octopus and red snapper, bring me both, I’m so hungry.
When they come back the boats are met with the citizens with pesos to purchase fish flesh and I like to help them kill the octopus make them soft on the rocks and with a knife we slice the snapper under it’s tiny chinless fillet it open slice down the belly with the biggest knife on earth and with a little lime juice make cerviche for lunch.
There’s a million things to do if you want to do things and need to get them done. There really are a million things to do but we don’t live life like that here; the jungle is just kept at bay, it is never conquered.
Mis amigos jump off the cliffs in hang gliders under the moon. At night a black piano is played high up on the mountain and we drift up into the underbrush listening and humming, the night blooms eternal, nocturnal and thirsty we feed it with our eyes that see in this darkness, accustomed to our little world next to God.