Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Be Careful What You Ask For

Midnight, May 19th-20th, 2009
Cuzco, Peru
"Be Careful What You Ask For"

Once again I have awakened to realize that I have a piece of writing to do. Yesterday, I posted on Facebook these words,

"We have had but one storm this entire three weeks in Peru (we've had fantastic weather), and that storm found me by myself on top of Machu Picchu (the others had already left the mountain). I found cover in the doorway of a ruin as hail and rain poured down. From my dry spot I was looking out and taking amazing images of the Andes Mountains. When the storm abated, an UNBELIEVABLE rainbow left me in tears as I caught images of those magic moments!"

Well, the fuller story actually begins several days earlier than that Machu Picchu rainbow experience, and ends only after I had reached the bottom of that mountain on that day.

A few days before we arrived at Machu Picchu, Joyce and I saw a shaman in Ollantaytambo. The ceremony was for Joyce, and I had agreed to accompany her. Well, to make a long story short, I was invited to be a part of the ceremony as well. The intention I set as we progressed through the ceremony was to be able to see in the ways I want to see, not only for my photography, but also so that I might be as authentic a person as possible, for myself and for others. The words I remember using were, "to be cracked open like a ripe watermelon," a phrase that goes way back to the beginnings of my relationship with Joyce.

Well, it's only as I look back on that shamanic experience, together with my experience at Machu Picchu, that I realize the power of what we ask for, and the power that lies in those places where our ancients have walked and worshipped.

The tears began as I caught those magic moments of that rainbow on Machu Picchu. When those moments had passed, so seemingly did the tears, that is, until I boarded one of the last buses off the mountain. I moved to the far back of the bus and sat looking out the window. There was a young couple also sitting in that back row and we chatted briefly. When we had finished chatting, I turned my face back to the window and the tears began again. They grew deeper and deeper and did not stop until I had reached the bottom of the mountain. A multitude of images and memories flooded through me, from past vacations when I was helping to raise a family, and from my present life. These were tears of joy and tears of regret all mixed together and tumbling out of me like a ripe watermelon cracked wide open.

Somewhere in that half hour journey to the bottom of the mountain I forgave the last person that needed forgiving for the failure of my first marriage. I forgave myself. Unbelievable, after ten years, I finally forgave myself.

I don't know how to understand what I have shared here. I don't know where causes begin or answers are found. What I do know is that this trip to Peru has been an awesome and incredible experience. In a few hours Joyce and I and our friends will board a plane to Lima. And then the next day we will board a plane to San Salvador and then San Francisco.

It is my intention as I return home to be even more the person I want to be, a person of vision, a person of art, a person of love. And I also already know that intentions are an incredibly powerful thing. Be careful what you ask for, and be sure to ask boldly.


Cuzco, Peru

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