Continuing the Tarot metaphor from my last entry, my journey has subsequently led me to Judgement where I made a conscious commitment to align my will, actions and heart to live life fully. The leukemia that was diagnosed in 1999 has been in remission for the past ten years, and for that I am grateful — both for the physical strength and well-being, and the profound teacher and task-master leukemia has been for me.
A cancer of the blood, leukemia has been a beacon calling my attention to the dis-ease that has flowed through my bloodlines — both maternal and paternal lineages. Mythically, it has provided a map to wholeness — for me personally and for a family I had no idea existed.
Last spring I received a letter from a private investigator who was looking for my brother and me regarding a small inheritance. I dismissed the first “calling,” which was received in the guise of a form letter. Thankfully, a second “calling” was sent, and I had the presence to respond. After several emails and phone conversations with the private investigator, my brother and I signed a contract. Unbeknownst to us, the financial inheritance was just the Universe’s “carrot” to get us to bite. The “real” reward has been the discovery of family my brother and I knew nothing about on our father’s side. We’ve discovered an aunt and uncles and cousins we never knew existed — some who lived less than 50 miles away from where we grew up as children and others who live in northern California. I was sent newspaper articles pertaining to the circumstances of our parents’ deaths — some details which my older brother remembers and some not. What’s more, my east- and west-coast cousins, who had never met or been in contact before my brother and I were “found,” have reached out to one another to create their own relationships.
Last fall my husband and I traveled to northern California to meet two first-cousins and their families. It was a spine-tingling experience to share stories, discover common family threads, and begin to unravel the knots of dysfunction that have stalked our family for generations. This paternal side of my family, previously hidden in shadow, has been brought into the light.
Individually and collectively, I am actively engaged in creating healing and wholeness that spans time — back into the past and forward into the future. Creating more conscious awareness of the affinities that organize my reality has become the principle theme of my life. My creative work as an artist has become richly fulfilling as I work to weave the underlying teachings of ayni. My work as a community activist and volunteer, too, is equally creative and fulfilling and is guided by these same maps.
For me, the purpose of life is to "return to ayni." Today, I see my journey has, at times, taken the scenic and sometimes precarious blue highways, and at other times the direct and indistinguishable interstates. It is a contemporary tapestry of many textures and hues, innovative yet grounded in the universality of Truth. Most importantly, my journey is a continuing process that nurtures me with a profound sense of awe, deep satisfaction, a more often quiet mind, and deep joy.
[NOTE: A few years ago, don Mariano Turpo, the Keeper of the Rainbow Lagoon, made his crossing back to Spirit at 100 years old. Don Manuel Q’espe made his final crossing at 99 years old — I was honored to be present at his final despacho ceremony in Cuzco before returning to his village in Q’ero. And, my beloved Don Mariano Apasa has made his crossing.]