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Every Day Acts of Peace

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Yucatan 1986: The Veil In Front Of My Eyes Thins

The rain sweetens the annatto seeds 
that I grind into red achiote paste.
My fingers redden,
wet from weather,
as I rub the paste 
onto a freshly sacrificed fish.

Ready for baking 
I wrap the fish 
in young green banana leaves 
I picked this morning.

The grey ash falls away, 
as I poke the coals to see 
if they will reveal 
their internal glow.

I lay the fish 
next to the baked bread 
keeping ready-to-eat-warm 
underneath the hot ash.

I have met many wise women 
along my travels 
through southern Mexico.
They gifted me 
their family secrets 
of cooking dishes, 
baking sweets,
and curing spices.

I safeguard 
the art of curanderismo, 
respect their secrets 
when I cook the sacred recipes.

I brought in my canvas bag
some marzipan 
from the city of Puebla,
famous for its pastry legacy 
from the French presence 
in 19th century Mexico.

I fell in love with 
Puebla’s signature dish of Mole Poblano -
a rich sauce made from grinding
chiles, nuts, herbs, spices and chocolate ...
usually served over turkey or chicken.

For my traveling herbal bag,
I chose to buy,
the renowned chocolate of Oaxaca -
after watching people bring 
cocoa beans, sugar, almonds and cinnamon,
to their neighbourhood mills to grind as ingredients 
into rich mixtures for hot chocolate and atoles.

As the rain pours down faster 
my friend, 
the wise curandera of the Mayan jungle,
comes out of her home 
smiling her sweet-toothed smile.

She has been making some tea 
to heal her cousin’s arthritis.
Cousin's constant fear 
has penetrated wet-cold 
into the dry-warmth of his bones.

My friend guides me with her eyes 
to notice the fleeting shadows -
the soldiers are getting closer
and potentially may threaten our meal.

She motions with her hands 
for me to look behind me -
in the hammocks 
slung between the trees 
are soldiers sleeping.

The smell of our food cooking 
must have lured 
the soldiering men from the jungle -
the chocolate rain is now tasting salty
and smoky from aromatic wood burning.

The soldiers will want to share the meal -
so my friend makes lavender tea as a sedative 
to keep these warriors docile and friendly.
I make more chocolate cake,
adding yerba buena spearmint and lemongrass, 
to calm down the soldiers' warring nerves.

I am alive swimming in now, 
exactly where I am to be, 
to create my life point.

I feel my body, 
my skin suit full of watery biology, 
walking the planet in gravity ...
feeling life’s miracles, 
as a spiritual being, 
in a soulful physical form.

On this edge of my next step, 
I have paced out the space that contains me.

I move my Self beyond the open window 
even if I do not yet see the entire view.

I see the nature of my true Self, 
and remember my place of origin.

I step into the game of free choice,
and pray the veil in front of my eyes will thin.

~~ Other People's Fingerprints ~~
Sometime somewhere Serge Kahili King wrote,
“… shamans recognize no hierarchy 
or authority in matters of the mind;
if ever a group of people 
could be said to follow a system 
of spiritual democracy,
it would be the shamans of the world.”