Rachel took a swig from the bottled water we each carried, wiped her lips, took a deep breath as she stared into the ancient kiva, and confessed, “I’m having a hard time finding faith that I can believe in.”
On a Good Friday I drove to Albuquerque. Thousands of the faithful walked north along Interstate 25. They sought the healing miracles of the sacred sands within the Santuario de Chimayo in the village of Chimayo, nestled in a valley, lined in cottonwoods and pastures within the Sangre de Cristo Mountains 24 miles (38.4 km) north of Santa Fe. From Albuquerque, the distance nears 80 miles, but the distance is unimportant to those who make this annual trek.
The first inkling I had on this interconnected business was in 2004 when I was in treated for breast cancer. I told my oncologist that I was slipping out from Santa Fe, NM for a bit, and going to go hang out at the beach. The oncologist, who reminded me of a Norman Rockwell character of a doctor, said, “Excellent idea. The ocean is our primordial connection. But don’t get a sunburn!”
I knew little to nothing about shamanism. Actually, I held onto my Navajo friend’s perspective: what’s with the white people trying to be like the indigenous people? Come to find out, indigenous white folk in ancient Europe had their shamans. Really, it’s not unlike ritual prayer of today.
Like the headwaters of a river, we are born into this world destined to float downhill where we will finally meet our […]
We can’t stop a rip current. But we can heed the warnings, and we should learn how to get ourselves out of a rip current if we are sucked into one. And so it goes with our personal efforts at finding peace. A sudden world event can pull our peace away. Once caught in the current, we may become another casualty.
It can be lonely on these less traveled roads. Guideposts are few and far between. The silence, however, is magic. It puts a lid on the cauldron of word soup chatter (social media). With each blind curve, truth reveals itself like nakedness in the mirror. And it is not always pretty.
The radius of change is as vast as the cosmic radius of the universe in which we spin each second. A natural instinct to be a force for good is given to us a birth, and it is how we nurture that natural instinct that is either the drop of water that becomes the ocean, or the drop of water that dries on the arid sand.
Our efforts require personal mining ops. We must dig into our hearts, our souls, and spend more time reflecting in the mirror as opposed to smartphones hooked to selfie sticks.
Anger. I know it well. Anger has boiled within me to the point of dehydration of the senses. I let anger take my fertile body and transform it into a desert — something I didn’t like. I cursed the hot sand, the barrenness of rocks, plants and life. I let anger guide me to my own skeletal form, like the white bones and skulls made famous by Georgia O’Keefe.
Both Cruz and I savored this holy show, yet we each harbored a sadness knowing full well, that our seas are not healthy. It brought us to a conversation about our mutual experiences with faith, religious devotion, and honoring our earth.