photo Luis chumbe
Texture and Heat. Having been there makes a difference (does it?). (It does).
What I say is: “My body misses Latin America.” What I mean is: After 3 days in Iquitos, my body has recycled most of its water. I am now a living exchange with the air breathed by the Amazon River via the trees. I am made up of madura tierra, dolphins swim my blood, my body re-orients itself as a boat—after all the river is the path. (Wow, that one took a long time. 10 years maybe.)
As I am re-inhabited by the river, my body re-orients itself as a boat. The river is the path. As many times as I need to hear it and lose it. I lose it again.
Presently my body feels hollow, greedily metabolizing rare sunlight, missing the rainbow-haze droplet filtered quality. The water is life component. The swimming in the water-air component. The each footfall is a blessing communicated to the earth and lifted back up and out through the trees to be reabsorbed component. The roundness of walking as blessing and being blessed by the moisture in the air component. The Softness—if earth can be silty, slip silky, this is the quality applied to air. A warm stone feeling, hand warmed clay as walking environs.
Yesterday someone asked: How could you not miss the forest (la selva)? I miss the forest like I miss my sister, like I miss a birthplace, like I miss knowing where I actually AM.
Well! That was true! And elicited some breaking up of the dam inside of myself. I place myself there inside of it and the river land calls me, immediately, you can come home, you can come home. Yesterday I thought about it as my “spiritual birthplace” and that is not really it. It is the place where I became (and become) re-oriented to myself and to the world. My first and dearest long-term, long-distance relationship—with a river, weaving herself underground. Yes, I’m getting it, I’m hearing it.
Do I have to say, so obviously, the paintings with the black backgrounds are true. They are dreams, map flashes of landscape, they are connections of the human turned back in to communion with/of the larger experience. In the realities of Westernization we have an idea that perhaps were are floating in a kind of void, why we are obsessed with a cold-metallic-alone version of space craft and exploration, instead of an organic, community version. In the forest, I met a tree who is a spaceship. The presence of this craft-self was so obvious that it reminded me to myself, and that is a feeling that no longing for it could match. Coming home. Coming home.
That I will not be returning to this beloved, to this mother, this sister, this homeplace this turn is suddenly present with me. The recognition shuts something down in me, in the relationship, in the dreaming. But perhaps something else is being born in me, some hybrid seed of self that is both river and boat.
And to think–I was trained to feel that weaving myself back in to the dream is lonely. But that’s not true. It is Full To Bursting with Life, Blessing, Purpose, Meaning, and Beauty. It is filled with Truth. It is filled with the Real World.
Blessings on Your Heads,