Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Journey in Strange Territory #1

Sometimes when we think we are going to visit one thing, something entirely other appears. Ten years ago I received a call from a friend with a strange story. She had gone to Mexico to witness a ceremony, and had taken one of my rattles to carry in her pocket for well-being. Many dramatic things happened, and on the morning of her last day in the mountains she was walking along a stream when she heard in her head, “take that to Kristen.” She saw a piece of cotton thread twined into the brush, and in a little natural cup of muddy water—a small blue marble. “How odd,” she thought, but dutifully put the two in her pocket. What became of the string is another story; this is the story of the blue marble.

I received these gifts with a great sense of portent. This friend is deeply psychic and when her guidance says something, I listen carefully. She mentioned the water, and suggested perhaps the marble wanted to live in something made of clay, perhaps in water. I filled a small earthenware jar with rainwater and plunked in the marble.

A short time later, at a drum-making workshop, a participant brought me the gift of a book titled Sastun: My Apprenticeship with a Maya Healer by Rosita Arvigo. I was distracted by the work at hand, and put the book down on a table, from which it fell, opening to a photograph of two beautifully ancient hands: one holding a small clay jar and the other holding a marble. Every part of this world became quiet as if holding its breath to honor my revelation. I understood my friend had brought me a Sastun.

I read this book many, many times. On Friday nights I would swirl the marble in its jar, while singing and saying my prayer to Mother Mary nine times. I would then look at its surface where indeed I would see turquoise lights—sometimes moving boldly and sometimes flickering. But what did they mean? Never did I miss a Friday, even though I did not know for whom I was showing up.

I took the marble in its jar, tucked inside a sage filled pack, with me everywhere. While driving in the States one morning I saw a dog try and jump from the back of a truck, and then a hawk flew dramatically at the windscreen of my pickup. I turned back to watch the bird and saw that the lid had flown from the storage box. Upon stopping my worst dream came true: the pack containing the Sastun was missing; it was the only thing missing. Of course the hours spent looking turned up the shattered lid but not the little stone jar with a blue marble inside. I have never grieved a loss so deeply. I cried for what seemed like forever. I tormented myself with blame that if only I had been more careful, more disciplined, or more something—it would not have gone. Four years later I came to some peace by understanding that I did not make the Sastun come, so why did I think that I had made it go? And then I received an email from my friend who was traveling in Guatemala. “In Tikal…another marble.” was all it said.