Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Take Me to the Mountains

People are beginning to fill up this mountain town.

Many come here to pray to St Francis.

They walk on their knees with candles in their hands.

They will ask the Patron Saint to heal someone they love.

The oiled wood floor below them has hatches

to the remains

Of those who have passed.

Others come here because it is high.

It is high in the mountains at 9,000 feet.

It is high because it is the holy land of the Huichole.

It is high because you can live here without the monster.

You can live here without the monster of fear.

You can live here without the monster of greed.

You can live here without the monster of vanity.

There is no War on Terrorism here.

And the people are not afraid of an attack.

They are more afraid of the people who insist on invading others.

Last night, I saw three old men talking in a small stone room.

The walls were bare and there was only a bare light bulb.

It hung from the ceiling on two wires, an inspector’s delight.

They, by all standards of western wealth, are poor.

They, by the standards of those in Mexico City, are underprivileged.

And, in many ways they are.

But they are privileged to talk of their days,

And to walk in their world view,

With just a little dignity and a dash of grace.

And they will not feel the fear of an American President,

Or his own Vice.

They will be the last to know of their machinations,

And the first to not be effected.

For they live in a poverty of wealth.

While we live in a wealth of poverty.

Back in the early days of the Music Capital of the World,

there was a band called Shiva's Head Band.

They sang a song called,

Take Me to the Mountains.

Some of us have.



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Blogger Charlie Loving said...

So sorry I am missing it this year. The first miss in a long time. The mountains are good. Even the ones in Colorado have some sort of calming effect. Not like the ocean. To me the ocean is a mystery that is always read to bite you. The mountains are free and calm. You have to make your own mistakes in them.

I recall a most mystical night with Oz on Quemado. The Huitchol elders had taken the babies to the saddler to be given their first rites under a full moon. They were sitting with the shaman singing quietly at a fire.

We watched for a moment and understood the happening and wandered away down from the mountain where the sun was born.

A fleeting sureal and real moment in the passing of time but it made a lasting impression.

As you say, no fear, no war, no terror, calmness and peace.

1:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Me too - so sad to miss this year. And I too remember that magical experience - my first pilgrimage to Quemado, and my first of many magical eperiences and pilgrimages with Oz. We hiked to the top of Quemado during the last hours of the sun which we witnessed sink behind the earth only to be followed by the rising of the full moon which lit our path of descent. And we quietly slipped past the Huichol coming of age ceremony held in the saddle created by the birth of the sun, and re-entry was not easy. I guess it never is.

9:54 AM  

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