Let's Dream Together
As I was wandering through the central plaza in San Miguel de Allende, going to one of my favorite breakfast places, Bellas Artes--I sit so I can view La Virgen at the very tip-top of the sunlit dome of my favorite church--an older, rainbow-wrapped man waved me over. A dazzling smile on his dark, radiant face, he was dressed in traditional Maya clothing, entirely in white with beautiful rainbow birds and flowers flying and blooming in joyous patterns. An elaborately decorated straw hat shielded his laughing eyes, and he kept waving me over as though trying to land a fish. I laughed, pointing to myself. He patted the empty area next to him on the bench as though it were a soft cushion, not iron...the smile. I felt a strange tugging in my abdomen/solar plexus, which made me hungrier for breakfast, but I walked over and sat down, meeting those laughing eyes. "I thought I was going to have to chase you down," he laughed (his language, mostly Spanish). "And I'm an old man," more laughter. He looked maybe in his early seventies but with the energy of a much younger man. "I think if you chased me, you'd catch me, señor." "Que bien, I knew you were someone I wanted to talk to," more laughter.
I'll call him Don Francisco, as he became in the novel (Song of the Golden Scorpion). He told me he was from Chiapas and that he could read my Mayan birth date if I wanted. I agreed and he brought out the most beautiful scroll from his satchel...the Mayan Calendar with painted symbols all over it. He looked directly into my eyes: "Are you a poeta? Do you sing with words? This is what you carry, so many words." Loud laughter. Yet no one even turned to look at us in the crowded plaza, Jardin/Garden, as it's called here in San Miguel. Vendors with their wares of toys and balloons, almost obscuring them as they walked by...women selling handmade baskets, a man with an entire garden in one pot, children selling gum and candy. No one stopped to offer us anything, not even the children, which is rare.
"Yes, I'm a poeta and a writer of stories." I remember feeling a flash of resentment, the invasion of my privacy. Don Francisco just laughed, reading my thoughts, energy. "You would kill for your freedom, that's who you are." He cracked himself up, and I almost stood up to leave but he grabbed my hand and kissed it, disarming me. Somehow he made his body look/feel older, meeting my eyes, holding me there. "Yeah, I guess you're right. My five foot kung fu teacher from China taught me killing blows for a week, just her and I," I tried to smile. "And you have children, four children, your womb tells me, and they're all grown, how you loved them, and now you're alone with your words." I started to cry, the truth of it...he pierced my heart, my shields. We sat close together as he read my Maya birth day, showing me the symbols, the spirit animals of my birth: serpent/eagle. "This is rare for anyone, but very rare for a woman. This is why you'd kill for your freedom, and for your children, those you love."
His eyes were soft, tender, and I felt an infinite trust with him in that moment. He laughed and switched his eyes to the energy of a young man--I took my trust back. He just laughed, of course. "Before you find love with a man again, you have many words to set free," his eyes burned into me, with rainbows. We spoke of many things for over an hour and no one approached us. There seemed to be a silence surrounding us. He gave me my Mayan name, a pouch of crystals, explaining each one to me...and I forgot, before the reading he blew so loudly on a conch shell, from his satchel, I felt vaulted out of my skin, altered, that silence. Now as our exchange seemed to be coming to an end, he blew on it again, loudly, bringing me back inside my skin, my hunger. No breakfast. Don Francisco suddenly swooped forward, kissing me on the lips it seemed...but what I felt was his hot breath breathed into me, my lungs, his energy. "Don't hit me, Alma Luz," he laughed. "Let's dream together." He stood up and walked away with the gait and strength of a young man. His energy, his spirit--the character born from this meeting--was another precious guide, throughout my novel, into the Sixth Sun. He spoke of the Sixth Sun: "A time of human re-birth if we have the courage to push through La Mama's sacred body." And more, but this is enough.
And I would meet another shaman of sorts at the local hot springs, who would take me driving through the streets of San Miguel--my first 'date' here--while playing very loud belly dance music and dancing as he drove. As traffic stopped, he yelled at a well-to-do older man wearing a cowboy hat in a brand new truck, "Chinga tu madre, a donde vas, amigo" (a literal translation, "Fuck your mother, where are you going, friend?") I knew/know that 'chinga tu madre' is bullet flying words, so I got low in my seat, gazing at his, yes, handsome face and the realization that I was in his 'business van' with an insane man. But the rancher just laughed as though they were brothers and gave it right back, "Chinga tu puta madre..." ("Fuck your whore of a mother, I'm going home to my old lady!") And he roared off as my date screeched off; me holding the door handle, figuring I could leap out at the next stop, catch a taxi home.
We didn't stop again and he lowered the music a tad, "Gringita, you have to lighten up, you're now in Mexico." He spoke good English, with a charming accent. We arrived at his import warehouse and as he opened the immense, carved wooden door, an entire mariachi band began to play a rousing ranchera. Furniture, carvings from Bali, India, all of Latin America, had been cleared to create a dance area. An ornate, wooden 'queen's chair' was placed at the top of a few steps, and a pitcher of margaritas was on a table between the queen's chair and a comfortable leather one. A bottle of tequila next to the pitcher of margaritas, just in case. A platter of tacitos, sliced vegetables and dip...the woman who served us stood at a distance, smiling. He 'made me' dance with every mariachi in the band, from teens to seventies, each one handsome in his own right--and it was May, the hottest month, and I forgot the heat (while I danced). This shaman of sorts added his spirit to the novel, and journeyed much further than we ever did...when you read the novel, you'll see.
Later, I would meet El Niño Doctorcito in the flesh...but I'll save that for my final blog next week. Don Francisco's words: "Before you find love with a man again, you have many words to set free." He was so right, and I still hadn't written the first line. Will I ever set all of my words free, I wonder?