Monday, June 7, 2021

An Ancient Ritual

 My memory is a failing thing.  When I was getting my degree in zoology long ago, I realized I didn't like to memorize which was practically all that we did in undergraduate classes.  We memorized formulas, reactions, classifications, Latinate names, physiology. . . .  I just wanted to be Jacques Cousteau and swim with the little fishes.  

It was good for me, though, the training I went through to get that diploma.  I had to learn some degree of self-discipline.  It was the only type of discipline I would ever take, really.  I am not the herding kind.  

Now when I think back on my life, it is mostly impressionistic.  It is a blur and a smear of experiences and emotions.  I often get dates and details wrong.  This weekend, I was sending some images to my art dealer.  I was going through some old hard drives and came across a cache of scanned images from my trip to Peru in. . . oh. . . I believe it was 1981 or '82 or '83.  I told her that it was 1985, but I realize now that was the summer I spent in Spain and France, and my trip to Peru was several years before that.  I was there for five weeks--I DO remember that.  And I went with Brando who had two travel groups meeting him there. But the groups were small.  Tiny.  Like four people each.  It was not a time to travel to Peru, but I didn't know that and he wasn't advertising it.  The year we were there, (whatever year it was) the State Department declared it the most dangerous country for travel in the world.  Given the terrorist activities in the Middle East that year (whichever one it was), that was a mighty claim.  The Shining Path/Sendero Luminoso had taken over entire cities and were ruthless in their killings.  Lima was under Marshall Law, armed soldiers patrolling day and night.  Within the first week we were there, the train our group was taking to Machu Pichu was bombed.  


But that is only backstory.  What I was showing the art dealer were pictures I had taken during some primitive festival I found myself in.  I was alone in a small village the name of which I can't remember.  Even looking at a map now, I can't remember.  But was I alone?  Where were the others?  Why would I have been there?  Perhaps it was between groups.  I have photos of Brando with a blonde I scarcely remember sitting on the curb of a street in some plaza.  Perhaps he and I had taken a bus together to this town.  Perhaps he had met this woman, and I had wandered off on my own.  I don't know.  The memory is distorted as if I had taken some ancient herb, the sights and sounds swelling and receding, objects becoming larger then smaller to a soundtrack that plays in the distance through carnival loudspeakers.  All I know is that I got caught up in some fantastical, primitive parade of dancers in hideous masks and musicians with flutes and harps and accordions and violins playing wild, ancient tunes while others portaged strange religious effigies through the streets.  

What I remember is being alone and getting caught up in a crowd.  I think I was enchanted by the music.  Hypnotized.  

We wandered through narrow paths and back alleys and overpowering odors, the mountains shining above in the distance.  

I don't know how long we marched, but eventually we made our way to the main plaza, and then into a church.  

I am certain I was the only gringo there.  I had no preparation for what I was experiencing, no understanding other than that it was some amalgam of ancient aboriginal rites and the religious teachings of Spanish invaders.  

Arriving at the cathedral, the music suddenly halted.  The crowd was silent.  Then, out of the vapors, a thin voice rose, an incantation, a recitation.  

(To Be Continued)


  1. You know, I was thinking about fatness.

    I've lost weight over the past year. Well - since T. has been gone really -- I might be among a smaller group that managed to keep doing that during Covid.

    I don't advise the Death of a Loved One Diet, to lose weight, however.

    [Getting through my rough patch.] I realize - one can utilize a form of desensitizing - to help during spells of grief which DO grow shorter and farther apart though not necessarily less painful. Amazing the amount of pain that can be pressed into your heart - feels like it gets to near popping -in such a short amount of time - gotta do deep breaths after that shit.

    I pissed another person off, btw. My hairdresser (it was only for a short time because we love each other v. much).

    She was all hyped up - about a video "the liberals" are showing to kids in elementary school. She made me watch it. It was harmless - maybe a bit too much but kids that age either are interested or not. Nothing was untrue. Is that the right word? I've lost my way - nothing was not a fact. I think that's better.

    She said that she believed the lesson encouraged children to be sexually active. I argued that we are born with sexual urges. It just peaks during certain times of our lives. That showing a kid a video about an erection or using the word vulva -- wasn't going to "make" a kid do something they weren't already going to do or at least think about at some point in their lives. (I don't really have the data to prove that statement - it's a strong hunch)

    I gave her the notion that schools, oh, yes, it was shown in some "liberal schools," should always provide notification to parents so that they can have the choice as to whether their kid would get to see it or not.

    But I calmly stuck to - showing kids a movie about how their body parts work and will work -- wasn't going to create some fiendish world of six and seven year old copulating on the monkey bars.

    Christ. There's a percentage of people for every "category" or whatever we want to call them - interests. perversions. fetishes. conditions.

    I can't believe showing a kid a cartoon one time would turn their brain - toward something horrible - like becoming a rapist serial killer. (Again, no data).

    Bonobos. I bet you studied them back in the day.

  2. The Hairdresser is sending her kid to Catholic School, "even though I'm not Catholic."

    She's living some fantasy that sending her kid to Catholic school will --- what?

    Most amazing thing? My Hairdresser
    was a HO prior to having this kid. I mean she was fucking sometimes 2 different guys in a day. Hey. Don't get me wrong - I don't care - (and she would TELL people what she was doing - hence me knowing), I did my fair share of stuff too. But that's it - isn't it? All of the sudden she's Mrs. Tipper Gore Banning Rap.

    Like people who tell their kids they don't smoke weed when their kids are stealing their weed. And you told your kid not to lie to you.

    Am I off base here? I sound sanctimonious and I do know I shouldn't judge how people raise their kids. And I try not too.

    Listen, I'm the first one with their hand up admitting I gave my kids plenty of shit to be fucked up about.

    Being intelligent was probably one - I don't very well tolerate those who don't at least try to find something to be interested in, inspired by and have opinions about. (hopefully by introducing as much as possible -- they find much to enjoy and are always able to discuss, with others, many things in life).

    There wasn't going to be endless hours in front of the Playing Station, etc. And damn straight they did their summer reading and more and wrote the report. Damn teachers sometimes forgot to even ask about Summer Reading.

    Oh, I'm sure my relationship with their Father fucked them up, too.

    But Heavens, enuff dirty laundry for tonight.

    I spilled an entire Gin & Juice into one of my make up drawers tonight. (don't worry I made another I'm sipping now & ate a hunk of gummy - i left a batch in the car and they melted all together. i had to cut a piece off.)

    shit. it's almost midnight.

    I hope no one reads here.

    This is Crazy Tarot Reading Card Lisa.

    I'm feeling vibey lately. I think I'm putting out something - a patient stuck around an awful long time today -- and decided to pay by check and come back on Thursday. And looked at me with some level of intensity that wasn't absolutely frightening or utterly disinterested.

    I need it -- just a little lift even if it's nothing. This guy wasn't wearing a ring. I had my glasses on. And he's not really my type - but my horoscope keeps saying I need to be open to someone not my normal type -- seems irrational to some extent but I'm trying to be more in tune - not just about meeting someone - about life in general, therefore I'm listening and looking to a host of sources for living a good life. Tho I can't order a Vagina Candle. They are OOS.

    The Peru photos you shared are wonderful. I was happy you did. Share them. They belong on big gallery walls.