Sunday, May 27, 2007

Off Again

Okay, I'm off again, back to Peru. Back to my second home, Iquitos, and my real love: The Amazon River and it's wonderful jungle. I'm taking guests out again and if I had my druthers I'd be--again--doing some real exploring of physical spaces, rather than real exploring of emotional places. But that's my job: getting people out into the thick of things, the thick of thick things where they are so open-mouthed they can forget their names, their day to day lives and let Spirit come fill them up. Or as my Madeleina says, "you know, get them to forget everything about themselves so they sort of die and then the Ayahuasca, well, not the Ayahuasca but the Spirit of Ayahuasca and Sapo and Nu-Nu and that cactus one [San Pedro] can help them to be born again. Only this time they'll be born better people."
I think she's about got it.
And I like doing that for people. And I love my team down there. Someone yesterday refered to them as "your peasants"--meaning to insult me for the way I lord it over them, rather than insulting them--and I almost howled in laughter. As anyone who has ever been with me knows, the team is the boss. I'm the guy who doles out the money but I'm far from the boss. We're a genuine team and I'm proud to be part of it. They work hard, they keep an eye on me, they love working with my guests and I think they even like me. Heck, they're all my old and now deceased teacher Julio's family, and some of them weren't even born when I first met their grandpa, the great and humble curandero Julio Jerena.
I thought I'd be able to bring my kids on this trip. I thought even Chepa and her new baby--forget her boyfriend, he was never included, okay?--Sierra would be able to come. I'd been asked last year to run a trip in April for 15, another in May for 16-17, then this one in June for 12 and then a short one in July for 8-10. If they all came together I thought I'd finally earn a good chunk and be able to take everyone home to Iquitos, Peru for a month.
Unfortunately, the April lady got no one and the May organizer got half-a-dozen people just for the Cuzco/Machu Picchu portion of the trip. I guess it's tough trying to get people to part with several thousand bucks to take a trip. In any event, I lost both those trips (though I did a short April one with half-a-dozen great folks) and so now there's no money to take the family. So I'm gonna be missing them again and I'm going to have some nights when I really wish I was home, making them dinner, watching a movie with them, or just cooking a bar-be-que like I've mentioned in a dispatch earlier this month.
Still, I'm lucky to have the work and lucky to be a journalist able to leave town on trips like this, trips that wear me out but refresh my soul as much as they refresh the souls of my guests.
And I hope I don't let them down. Hope I don't drink too much one night (or 10) and having them wishing I'd just die or go away. Hope the medicine does the magic it generally does; hope that Julio is watching over his son Hairo and I cooking the medicine and nods in approval, then blows a little black-tobacco mapacho smoke from wherever he is right now to the center of the great big pot, giving it just a little taste of his wisdom, decency, generousity and razzle-dazzle.
And of course I hope that whatever it is my guests need--not necessarily what they want or think they need, but whatever it is their souls really really need--they get and get in spades. Man, that's a good feeling when that happens. And it happens, surprisingly, quite a bit.
And while I'm gone I hope nothing bad happens here. I hope everybody in the world, but especially my kids and Chepa and Sierra (okay, we can add the boyfriend here) and Italo's girl Sarah are all great while I'm gone. Not like our little dog Lily who just last night was playing on the front porch and today is a pile of broken bones and mashed flesh out in the street in front of our house. So smashed she's not even bury-able. Sorry, Lily. I hope you enjoyed your sojurn here on planet earth. And with Italo and Marco now driving I get nervous, you know? There are a lot of bad/crazy/drunk drivers out there. So keep an eye open at all times, guys. Don't let anything happen to you or your sisters or your mom. Ah, jjjjjuuuuuuu. Ah, jjjuuuuu.
Hey, I'm a dad, I'm allowed to feel this stuff, right?
Anyway, I'm nearly packed but not nearly ready to go. I'm in the middle of two big investigations that I havn't been able to wrap up yet, the lawn needs mowing, the oil needs changing on both old trucks and a hundred other things need doing as well. Guess I'll have to let them wait. Time to go.

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