Monday, 17 February 2014

A misty mysterious light.

Part 2 of visiting the healer.

At  around 5 o'clock this afternoon, a  misty mysterious light filled the valley surrounding our village .
My fourteen year old neighbor Angel (pronounced Aangh-hel)  had just asked me if he could put his baby  rabbit  beside my wood stove. He's dying of cold he told me. Of course I replied.  Joni, his cousin, sheepishly stopped firing pellets at my  pink flamingo garden sculpture.  He had temporarily tied it to the almond tree!

Aangh-hel disappeared into his dads  chicken  run and came back carrying the tiniest bundle of white fur.
It was stone cold.
I think it's dead.
I put an old towel on top of the newly lighted wood stove, then 10 year old Adrian joined  us in the kitchen. Joni,  having taken the flamingo out of the tree,continued to enjoy firing at anything metal.  He's 17. Then Merche arrived.  She's my cleaning angel, cousin of Aangh-hel, also cousin of Joni.  She'd come to  finish a little bit of painting she started the other day, the day I went to the curandera (the healer).

'Put it (the rabbit) next to your skin,' Merche says, 'under  your shirt, not on the  wood stove.'
Aangh-hel  raises his jacket.
 'It's dead.' she says.
 'No it’s not.' says the 14 year old.
The baby  rabbit disappears under layers of clothing.  Joni knocks on the  door.
'Your dad wants you. Hurry.'
Aangh-hel leaves.

Can we make brownies  Adrian asks.  'Ok,'  I say, 'actually I was just about to make them.'
 Adrian loves to cook and loves to eat.  We start to make the brownies.  Meanwhile Merche paints the patches where the rain flooded in last weekend then joins us in the kitchen.

She shows Adrian  photos of her wonderful adventure yesterday, to which I was invited, but didn't go..  With a friend and  4 children ( including her own 5 year old son)  she hiked towards the semi derelict  village of Bargis, clambering over  the  almond blossom clad mountainside to a  special, secret location  There  they made a  fire and cooked chicken, pork and  sausages..  They  climbed trees, told stories, played cards, and came home six hours later exhausted but happy.  Merche talks to Adrian  about the adventure with great respect, as if he were an adult.

Aangh-hel slides back into the kitchen.  'He's alive.' he tells us, grinning, his eyes bright..  'My dad’s got him by the fire.  He's Ok.'
Then I notice  a  misty mysterious light filling then lifting itself above the valley.  Merche also notices it and photographs it. ( See last pic).

Since the visit to the healer  life feels a little like the mysterious changing light outside.

 Everything in the valley in front of my village house is familiar, but with this different light, it looks different and feels different.  It’s almost like seeing it  for the first time.

Photo of Alcázar by Merche.

At  the healers house on Friday I had a feeling of the ‘mysterious’.  Well, you wouldn't be there if you didn't believe there’s more to life than  work and sex and food  and holidays and winning the lottery, would you!.

However, things with her didn't start off too well.. I annoyed her. I arrived 5 minutes late.  I sat in her chair, she pointed to the small  stool.  Despite all of this, there was something mysterious happening, I was certain. sure. When I left, apart from the donation, I gave her a gift of a tiny bag of strong smelling lavender.   She loved it.   I’ll put it in my wardrobe she said.  Bring me more next week.

Why was I late after waiting an hour in my car ,so close to her house ??
Aha !! Well…I would like to explain this to you in Spanish .. because I just learned the perfect  Alpujarrenan expression for this today.
 Bueno,  !estaba tarde porque me cago por la pata abajo, in other words,  tenía descompasición por los nervios !!!!

So,  I had to  go rushing hunting for a bush, which meant I was not there when she opened the  door to  give me my place- no 4 on the list- remember ? Yikes, she gave me number 20!!
She was very annoyed.

Now I was not going to confess in front of the group of about 16  people assembled all around her in  the waiting room,  that  I'd had to run out of the village  to find a bush, extremely urgently, nor could I find the courage to say I’d been sitting there in my  car since  6.30am .

No  20! Oh God I thought, I will have to wait all day.

‘You have to be here when I open the door.’she said ( to get your number).
 ‘Oh '’ I said ‘I didn't realize.’
Then a very kind woman who must have seem  me  rushing/hobbling round the corner chipped in, and the result was my ticket was changed for no 8.  This meant a wait of only 5 hours.  As soon as we got our numbers  almost everybody  disappeared.

Everybody who came out of Pura's shine/healing/ room  came out with a  smile.  Myself included.  Apart  from what transpired between us which I think needs to be private, she prescribed  some  herbal medicines, and an ancient practice of putting  a slice of prickly pear  heated in the oven, on the painful joints.

My  80 year old  neighbor Maria  told me this is what her mum used to  do when she was a girl.  My joints feel calmer, my legs feel different. I am still hobbling, but, like the mist this afternoon, I have a sense that something's changing, moving, transforming. Big word transforming.

  How?  Why? That's the mystery.

Words  don't hit the spot, but mystery always does, for me.

Photo by the multi talented cook photographer writer explorer cleaning angel Merche Martin, this afternoon.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Her name is Pura.

Yesterday , at 5am, I left my village and drove though the inky darkness with the  full moon beaming over the mountainside.  At 6.30am I arrived at my destination and for the next hour, sitting in my car, I waited and wondered. It was cold. It was still dark. What was going to happen?
Shadowy shapes occasionally  moved inside  other cars. Am I imagining this ?  The church clock chimed  raspingly every quarter of an  hour.   My name was written on a piece paper  pinned to  the brown  wooden door of the house behind me: Margarita 1. There were three other names before mine, and  six  after.

Every now and then, a vehicle swung round the side of the  church.  Dazzling headlights  momentarily disturbed the stillness  of waiting.  Turning 180 degrees the new arrivals  drew up behind me stopping beside the small ,two storied white house with 101 flowers pots outside.  In threes joined together,the chairs sat empty, impartial, and old. It is very unusual to come  alone I was told later.

Bargis. Photo by Merxe.

Gradually dawn peered around the far end of the tiny Andalusian village, a soft orange light, a mango mixed  with cream color.  It  swelled quickly over the  old  clock tower and  the empty vegetable patch below it,  revealing the beauty of  one of  many magical villages here in  southern Spain.

We are all here to see the curandera - the healer. She will open her  door at  7.30am,

her name is Pura.

'Miracles are not contrary to nature, but only contrary to what we know about nature.'
Saint Augustine.

I'm here to ask for a miracle.

New title  pic by Merxe Martin, others, by me .