February/March 2010 Volume 61Welcome to this bi-monthly edition of our newsletter! You will find these columns contained in our February/March issue:
Carla Woody, Founder
Metaphors for Life
Pablo Amaringo Is Gone
Pablo Amaringo is gone. When reading the news a couple of months ago I felt sorrow at the passing of this master. For those of you who have not heard of him he was a great painter, at one time a curandero, and ran the small Usko Ayar art school in Pucallpa, Peru. No student was turned away for lack of funds. If the desire and some talent were there, the door was open. Pablo came from very humble beginnings himself.
Drawn from his own experiences, through shamanic states and mythological traditions, he produced intricate paintings of other worlds he encountered. By the 1990s his stature as a painter was recognized, especially through his book with Luis Eduardo Luna, Ayahuasca Visions, in which his work was featured.
Earth Lord Sky
But I do have to admit that my regret at his passing was also somewhat selfish. Ever since I first saw Pablo's work and heard he had a school I wondered if he would consider taking an American woman as a student at least for a while. You see, the undertaking really wouldn't have been that unreasonable, since every year for a good number of years I've been in Peru for a time. Why not just extend the journey and travel inward in a different way and document it outwardly other than words? Visionary art is something I've longed to produce. All my art so far has been derived from the material world, sources you can touch.
Even though I've been blessed with a rich inner life, through meditation, shamanic or dream states, I've not yet had the courage to attempt documenting these fleeting experiences on canvas. Almost as if too much would be revealed. To me, Pablo Amaringo would have been someone to trust, a guide to usher me through that gateway.
That desire, coupled with the idea of his mentorship, was something stored inside, that kept floating to my mind every so often. But now Pablo Amaringo is gone and I am left with wondering how it is when I've been known to take many risks in my life I didn't follow through there? Perhaps I have become complacent a state I dread!
Shortly after I heard this news, something somewhat bizarre happened. Out of the blue, I received a call from someone I hadn't spoken to in probably forty years! And when he left his name on my voice mail, without any context, I actually knew who it was. When we were young teenagers we hung out for a while, not a lot, but enough to have some memories, though not necessarily shared ones. Since that phone message we've had some long distance conversations and told stories about the other one, which the other doesn't remember. I credit him with teaching me to play guitar, a bit of the song Classical Gas which he'd forgotten. And he told me stories about myself I'd rather not remember. Looking back on your youth also sometimes involves feeling a little embarrassment and asking the question, "What was I thinking?"
But mostly the conversations have allowed me to reflect on the path my life has taken, sharing it with someone with whom I had some, albeit fleeting, history, and comes from the same mindset. I've been able to acknowledge the times when I felt a strong pull, readily answered those calls, even when it seemed foolhardy to do so, and it changed the very fabric of my life. It occurred mostly in later years when I'd learned to sense and trust unseen guidance. I've also noted the areas where I've had challenges and learned along the way.
Contrasted with those earlier exhilarating leaps I took, life today seems to call for steadily placing one foot in front of the other, called somewhere through intent, with no idea really what final outcome is ahead. As if any of us do anyway, but I've learned to trust the process.
Even so, the two occurrences I'm relating here, Pablo Amaringo's passing and the re-emergence of a long-lost friend, seemingly unconnected, but so close in time, have caused me to look ahead but open my peripheral vision more widely; and pay close attention to what else may draw me. As I once again give myself permission to act, to leap where there may seem to be no support, the fabric of my life may change once again.
For me, this seems to be the season for such reflections and possibilities.
To learn more about the work of Pablo Amaringo, please visit this website.
© 2010 Carla Woody. All rights reserved.Carla Woody is the author of the book Standing Stark: The Willingness to Engage and Calling Our Spirits Home: Gateways to Full Consciousness and founder of Kenosis, an organization supporting human potential and global consciousness. Carla has long been leading people toward mind/body/spirit wholeness using integrative healing methods blended with world spiritual traditions. She may be reached by e-mail at email@example.com or by telephone (928) 778-1058.
More often than not, the publications or music you will find reviewed here will not be new or "bestsellers." Websites or organizations may not be well known. But all are spotlighted by virtue of their impact and value.
The Woman at Otowi Crossing
I discovered The Woman at Otowi Crossing in the late 1990s. It spoke to me in such a way that I wrote the executors of Frank Waters' estate to get permission to use a paragraph in the flyleaf of my own book Calling Our Spirits Home and they graciously complied. You may read it in "Metaphors for Life" section above.
The book by Frank Waters is a fictional account of the real-life Edith Warner, there called Helen Chalmers, who ran a tearoom at Otowi Crossing, near both Los Alamos and San Ildefonso Pueblo, for more than twenty years until the Chile train line shut down. Set during the time of the research and development of the atomic bomb, it creates a juxtaposition between the ancient ways and beliefs of pueblo life, modern science and so-called progress. The secrets of those things kept hidden were in the air, the goings-on at Los Alamos as well as influences from her close relationship with the Pueblo people. They permeated Helen's days in such a way that it created awakenings in her, what she called Emergences. The Woman at Otowi Crossing is replete with such rich aphorisms as the one below, reflecting, too, Waters' own journey of consciousness.
" ... Perhaps none of us really learn anything by degrees. We just keep absorbing things unconsciously without realizing what they mean. Till suddenly, for no apparent reason, it all comes into focus with a blinding flash... "
Historically, Waters' book would be of interest, too, weaving in the likes of Neils Bohr, Robert Oppenheimer, local Pueblo people and others who frequented Helen's tearoom. If you're like me, then, after you read The Woman at Otowi Crossing, you'll rush out to get The House at Otowi Bridge by Peggy Pond Church. It could almost be considered a companion, one not to be read without the other. Church's book is a biography of the legendary Edith Warner, a complex woman who lived simply in an out-of-the-way place in a controversial time, and gained wide respect by those who knew her.
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