23.06.2009 – 24.06.2009
Wadley 2: Circus de Mescalito
After a couple days of decompressing of psychic and physical cleansing, I was ready to wander out into the desert to check on the peace sign of stone I’d started about a year ago and confer with Señor Mescalito over the true nature of the soul, reality, and becoming free from the known. I brought along Jiddu Krishnamurti’s book “Freedom from the Known” as a guide. I’ve read this before, but some of the concepts were too complex for my feeble mind to grasp, so I thought maybe the peyote cactus might help me focus more intently.
Another subject I wanted to concentrate on while on this trip was whether or not I still wanted to make film. I studied film and have a degree, but have yet to actually do much with it. The reason I haven’t done anything with it is a mystery that’s troubled me for some time. I’ve speculated that perhaps I was too afraid of failure. Or, perhaps the original reason I’d set out on that path is no longer valid. For example, I think sometimes we’re told something when we’re young or otherwise get some idea in our heads that set us off on a particular path for several years without fully examining if it’s something we really want to do. Or, rather sort of a subconscious blueprint that may or may not truly be where our hearts are at.
So, after putting on think layers of sun screen and while walking out into the desert toward the location of my stone peace sign on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, I figured I better get started with this quandary.
I supposed I’d be thinking about this for weeks before I had an answer. To my surprise, within 2-3 minutes I had the answer. I thought, “No way! That’s just too simple.” What came to me was that all of the analysis of the past, exploring possible subconscious triggers, whether or not I was being governed by fear, etc. was all a waste of time and rather silly. None of that mattered. It was no longer important to discover why i hadn’t done anything yet. All that mattered was here and now. All I needed to decide was if I wanted to make film now.
I do like narrative storytelling, am told I’m skilled with image creation, and am incredibly fascinated with creative use of sound. Seems to make logical sense that I’d try to wrap all those disciplines together, stop speculating and concentrate on at least attempting a film. Problem solved!
I arrived at the peace sign to discover it still intact and then set out to see if Mescalito would favor me with a quick and easy search for peyote cactus.
He did. I’m usually searching a good half hour or so before I’ve found him dusty and hiding beneath some thorny brambles. But this time it was within a few minutes and without a single thorn puncture through my sandals. No painful sacrifice at all!
After cleaning the poisonous bits away, I gobbled up 3 bitter plants with the help of an orange to mask the taste. Listened to the Krishnamurti audio book while busying myself with adding more stones to the peace sign project.
Finally, I believe I got it. So challenging and somewhat torturous it was to deeply consider the nature of one’s own programming and perceived self. I can’t distill what i experienced in words quite yet, but when I stopped in the late afternoon sun staring at the sacred mountain the Huichole Indians call Quemado and concentrated on Krishnamurti’s words “The observer IS the observed.”
I experienced the moment of pure clarity I was looking for. Not a comfortable thing to give up your self completely, but oh so worth it.
Spent the rest of that glorious Sunday afternoon digesting all of this and trying to cement the memory for future contemplatio while lightening the load with poquita musica. The implications of what I’d understood out there beneath Quemado were far reaching. I can’t say that I absolutely understood all and I will likely never achieve complete understanding. But this was the furthest I’d gone in my understanding and will certainly continue the pursuit. Honestly, I can’t say why, but I hope I never fully understand.
The hike back to Wadley was timed with a magnificent setting sun. As I continued the contemplation, I was also very much looking forward to lazing the twilight away in my hammock.
When I got back to Wadley, I met up with a Frenchman named Simon and his friend Edgar from Northern Spain. I knew they’d spent the day hangin’ with Mescalito as well and their faces glowed as I imagined mine was.
We all walked quietly toward the compound, each in our own bliss. When we arrived, we discovered a big stage had been erected right in the street next to our compound and very loud live music was vibrating the walls. I’d hoped for a quiet twilight in the hammock listening to Pink Floyd or something, but I was going to roll with the surreal development.
As I collapsed into the hammock to enjoy the last streaks of purple and orange in the desert sky, the fragrance of something divine the Frenchman was cooking wafted through the rustic courtyard. It was probably something as simple as potatoes, onions, and garlic, but to my heightened senses, it smelled like ambrosia.
Edgar, the Spanish dude, was puffing away on some thick mota and Pharaoh pranced about with his dreads flailing about and looking as if his wiry frame barely even touched the ground as he blew with all his African might into a saxophone an abstract and wild composition that strangely melded with the pumping live Mexican music coming from the street.
We later learned the celebration was for a local Mexican girl’s 15th birthday, a traditional Catholic celebration in Mexico. And man do they go all out!
The whole scene was beyond what I could have hoped for. It was far too surreal to capture in an image or with sound. Perhaps a painting might get close or maybe with these words. All I know is that this was one circus I could never have imagined in my wildest dreams.
Will likely spend one more afternoon in the desert before pushing further South. I’m thinking of returning to Xilitla in the Huastecas. Was there a few months ago, but I learned of a beautiful Indian village near there on my last day and I want to return to find it and use Xilitla as a base for a few days.
If I don’t make the journey back to Matehuala before I leave in a couple more days or so, my next dispatch will be from the Huasteca region.