Stick A Fork In Me . . .

Yep.  I’m done.  A little more than two months into my planned five month trip to Oaxaca, I’m heading home.

I love it here.  I like the people, the culture(s), the history, the art, the huge variety of everything and the strangeness of it all.  But that all flies out the window when you’re not well.

The agonizing symptoms of my gripa have waned since I saw the Doctor and started her medicine regimen.  I no longer double over with cramps and haven’t had a shaking fever in almost a week.  But I’m finding that I have no energy at all.  Yesterday, after a great class, I went to my favorite sandwich shop (La Hormiga) and had a chili relleno torta – delicious – then headed down Alcalá toward the Zocalo and the Mercado, feeling good, happy as a clam.

After almost two weeks of restricted activity, hanging out at home and in the near-neighborhood because I didn’t feel well, it was great to get back to the living. But in a matter of minutes I was tired and a little later I had to duck into a chocolate shop just to sit and rest.  I walked a little further but finally hailed a cab – something I almost never do – and headed home.  I was barely in the door when I was asleep on the couch.

That’s not like me, at all.

I’m ready to get back to the gym, to my yoga class, back to my self-prepared healthy diet, my own Doctor, my car(!), my English-speaking friends, my dog and my life.  Heck – it’s 8:11 am and I’m already tired!

So in a week, the day after my classes end, I’m on Volaris headed to Tijuana and the border.  I love you, Oaxaca, but we’ll have to continue our affair after I’m feeling better.  Ciao!

3 thoughts on “Stick A Fork In Me . . .”

  1. Great story James – find a Nagual! From “The Power of Silence” by Castaneda:

    From where the average man stands, sorcery (nagualism) is nonsense or an ominous mystery beyond his reach. And he is right–not because this is an absolute fact, but because the average man lacks the energy to deal with sorcery.
    Human beings are born with a finite amount of energy, an energy that is systematically deployed, beginning at the moment of birth, in order that it may be used most advantageously by the modality of the time.
    The modality of the time is the precise bundle of energy fields being perceived. I believe man’s perception has changed through the ages. The actual time decides the mode; the time decides which precise bundle of energy fields, out of an incalculable number, are to be used. And handling the modality of the time–those few, selected energy fields–takes all our available energy, leaving us nothing that would help us use any of the other energy fields.
    The average man, if he uses only the energy he has, can’t perceive the worlds sorcerers do. To perceive them, sorcerers need to use a cluster of energy fields not ordinarily used. Naturally, if the average man is to perceive those worlds and understand sorcerers’ perception he must use the same cluster they have used. And this is just not possible, because all his energy is already deployed.
    Think of it this way. It isn’t that as time goes by you’re learning sorcery; rather, what you’re learning is to save energy. And this energy will enable you to handle some of the energy fields which are inaccessible to you now. And that is sorcery: the ability to use energy fields that are not employed in perceiving the ordinary world we know. Sorcery is a state of awareness. Sorcery is the ability to perceive something which ordinary perception cannot.
    Everything a teacher puts his apprentice through, each of the things he shows him is only a device to convince him that there’s more to us than meets the eye.
    We don’t need anyone to teach us sorcery, because there is really nothing to learn. What we need is a teacher to convince us that there is incalculable power at our fingertips. What a strange paradox! Every warrior on the path of knowledge thinks, at one time or another, that he’s learning sorcery, but all he’s doing is allowing himself to be convinced of the power hidden in his being, and that he can reach it.
    I’m trying to convince you that you can reach that power. I went through the same thing. And I was as hard to convince as you are. Once we have reached it, it will, by itself, make use of energy fields which are available to us but inaccessible. And that, as I have said, is sorcery. We begin then to see –that is, to perceive–something else; not as imagination, but as real and concrete. And then we begin to know without having to use words. And what any of us does with that increased perception, with that silent knowledge, depends on our own temperament.
    Now, I’m going to give you a different and more precise definition of sorcery.
    In the universe there is an unmeasurable, indescribable force which sorcerers call intent. Absolutely everything that exists in the entire cosmos is attached to intent by a connecting link. Sorcerers, warriors, are concerned with discussing, understanding, and employing that connecting link. They are especially concerned with cleaning it of the numbing effects brought about by the ordinary concerns of their everyday lives. Sorcery at this level could be defined as the procedure of cleaning one’s connecting link to intent.
    The task of sorcery is to take this seemingly incomprehensible knowledge and make it understandable by the standards of awareness of everyday life.
    The guide in the lives of sorcerers is called “the nagual.” The nagual is a man or a woman with extraordinary energy, a teacher who has sobriety, endurance, stability; someone seers see as a luminous sphere having four compartments, as if four luminous balls have been compressed together. Naguals are responsible for supplying what sorcerers call “the minimal chance”: the awareness of one’s connection with intent .
    Naguals school their apprentices toward three areas of expertise: the mastery of awareness , the art of stalking , and the mastery of intent . These three areas of expertise are the three riddles sorcerers encounter in their search for knowledge.

    1. Ha! Tom! My first impulse was to reply with ‘Well, Duhhh.’ But then I decided silliness was probably inappropriate given my current circumstance. Carlos certainly can use a whole lot of words, can’t he? And you’ve really read this stuff! I did too – or at least the first 4 or 5 books, oh, 40 years ago or so. I think I’ll have to start a re-read. As far as a Nagual goes, I did have a friend offer to take me to a good Bruja, and I may take him up on it just for the experience. I mean: When In Rome, right? And here, when you don’t feel well, your first stop is to the old woman who sells herbs at the mercado, then the Bruja, and finally if all else fails, the Doctor. North of the border, we do it in reverse order and stop after the first step.

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