Sunday, September 20, 2009

biblio-comentario: spirit matters

tatiana de la tierra

it was early in november of last year when a woman walked into my office at work in the library asking about a book by victoria avalon, an author i'd never heard of. “it's about my sister ramona, a clairvoyant,” she said, “and it's the story of my life.” the book was brand new, though she didn't know the title. i quickly searched catalogs while emilia, the patron, rambled on with details that included tidbits about incest, speaking with the dead, healing, and paranormal sightings in mexico. she was on a first-name basis with the author. “vicky” had already published two books, she said, and this one was ramona's biography.

i had some doubts about the veracity of the whole account; emilia carried her library card along with crumpled bills and tiny pieces of paper in a ziploc bag. she spoke in crazy patchworks of words that i had to decipher. but i promised to look for the book at the guadalajara international book fair, where i was headed in a few weeks. when she started to weep, the feeling in my gut told me it was real, all of it. she gave me contact numbers for herself in los angeles and for vicky and ramona in guadalajara, and i promised to bring her back a copy of the book if i could swing it.

i found an old blog posting by victoria avalon and e-mailed her in advance, hoping to get concrete information about her book, such as the title and publisher. as it turned out, out she was having a book launch for el sendero de una vidente (ediciones b) on the day i was leaving. for some strange reason, i dutifully extended my visit in guadalajara so that i could attend the event. and i decided that, in addition to getting the book, i would meet with vicky and ramona while i was in town.

and so it is that i led a double life while attending the renowned book fair. by day i trotted up and down the isles of books, took e-mail breaks in the professional center, and downed convention center food. but by night, i had a mission-i was in search of other worlds.

i had dinner with vicky on the first evening of the book fair. an inquisitive gemini, she's a journalist with a special interest in the paranormal. she met ramona a few years prior while doing research for an article about healers and they had developed a close friendship. the next day i met with another of her friends, josé, an astrologer. he brought his laptop when he came to the hotel to read my chart; he felt very familiar to me. and while it was hard to hook up with her because she was a busy lady, i eventually met ramona, an unassuming centered being with a spark of mischief in her eyes. she touched my wrist and immediately did a psychic tour inside my body; she gave me offbeat prescriptions, such as soak white onions in alcohol and place them on your belly button fifteen minutes before going to bed.

but best of all, ramona accompanied me to el foco tonal, an outdoor temple in poncitlan, jalisco. people come from all over to this place in nature where energy springs from the earth and connects to the cosmos. i stood in the precise point of the current of energy, spoke my name and heard it resonate and amplify. i saw a kaleidoscope of colors and felt a tremendous internal whoosh as ramona officiated with cosmic agents on my behalf. i got high off the energy and, afterwards, i glowed.

spirit matters.

always, never knowing why, i've been drawn to spiritual representations. i've studied paganism, dianic witchcraft, santeria, eastern religions, anything mystical. i collect virgins and goddesses of all kinds. i've stayed away from organized religions, though i have some holy rollers in my family (thankfully, none of them are racist right wing immigrant-hating homophobic bigots). i believe in karma, consciousness, past lives, ascended masters, destiny, higher purpose, and pendulums. yet there's a part of me that's wondered if this is all white-talk, hippie dippie doo doo leftover from the sixties. as a south american without catholic guilt or male gods, am i a defective latina?

well, all the new age mexicans who packed the hall at the book launch of el sendero de una vidente put my doubts to rest.
they testified about energy healings, angels, and vibrations. the book, which i started reading on my flight on the way back to los angeles the next morning, is rife with stories about crystals, trapped souls, pyramids, extra terrestrials, chakras, and psychic surgery. just like emilia said, it is about ramona's life and her evolution as a clairvoyant, and it is about so much more.

back in the library, i wonder about the meaning of it all. how a patron in search of a book led me to a journalist, an astrologer, a psychic, and an amazing experience with energy. all because i said “yes” to some little voice inside. we have opportunities to say “yes” to the unknown all the time, to follow instinct, to see where it takes us. i'm fortunate, or a fool, depending on how you look at it, that i have an army of angels cheering me on to do all sorts of bizarre things, some which yield better results than others.

in this cosmic world of mine, there is a lot of talk about “light”-about shining from the inside out and spreading it around. librarians are perfectly positioned to be light spreaders. on a good day, i do just that, and people respond to the energy that i put out. it's a back and forth, a show of lights, happening right @ your library. check it out.

31 de agosto de 2008, long beach, califas.


Judith Mercado said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Judith Mercado said...

Sorry about that, didn't catch huge typo. Thanks for your wonderful post. I grew up in one of those holy roller families – my dad was the minister – but to his dismay I ended up like you, fascinated by anything remotely spiritual, just not necessarily mainstream Latina and definitely not holy roller. I’ve been on a vision quest in a cave in Hawaii, trekked up Egyptian and Chichen Itza pyramids, done past-life regressions; well, the list is long. One of the characters in my unpublished novels, The Old Prophet’s House and Rejoice in Hope, is Reverend Regina Sánchez who, after searching the world and not finding a religion she likes, ends up creating one. Called New Pentecost Covenant, it combines New Age and Buddhist belief with the charismatic practices of her childhood Pentecostal religion. I think I created that character because I, too, have searched for that kind of spiritual home but never found it. So I had to create it in my novels.

Viva Liz Vega! said...

Tatiana, I can't wait to meet you in person one day. Ilove that you say yes to all these wonderful opportunities and that you so willingly share your adventures. Wonderful piece.

Cristina Acosta said...

There are so many forms of spirituality and how great that culture has changed enough for people to be able to explore outside of mainstream religious expectations.I am a painter and have a series of contemporary retablos I've painted that explore the sacred feminine from the viewpoint of a Latina steeped in images of the Madonna and Virgen. Only I don't like the idea of validating a women's spirituality through her sexual experience, so I don't use the term "Virgen" to describe my images of the feminine divine. Here's a link to my blog about my show. The art is now hanging at El Museo Cultural in Santa Fe. The official exhibit is over, but they asked to keep the pieces a while longer as they've had quite a bit of interest in them.