Trying on handwoven ponchos, Peru, July 2016

A year ago, I published this essay that centered around a bone I buried in my yard, on direction from my character, shall we say. It was an offering, old-school:
“I buried the bone in my backyard, under the Japanese maple tree, as Puma told me to. I would have thought the offering should be left in the wilderness, in the high places, close to the mountain gods. But no, under this tree in our tiny yard, the dense weave of city life just beyond the fence. When I listened, I heard: that was what Puma wanted.”

My mentor Deena Metzger said: Spirit wanted you to be the woman who would bury a bone in your yard. 

We were talking about how to balance multiple realities – how to be a writer in conversation with spirit, Muse, character, however you want to refer to the mysterious sources of story, and then go to Trader Joe’s. Because I’m a mom, so there’s a lot of food shopping. And telling small people Hurry up and put your shoes on, we are leaving right this minute. 

Mundane, everyday life pressed up against spirit requesting blood offering. In fact, now that I think of it, I believe I bought the steak with the bone in it, the one we buried in the yard, at Trader Joe’s.

Fast forward to this past July. We spent four weeks in Peru. Because I had a dream. A literal dream, the kind you have while asleep. It wasn’t a romantic dream. It was what I call one of my “logistical dreams.” The entire dream was me talking in Spanish to a taxicab driver, negotiating how to get me, Mikhail, the boys and our gigantic pile of luggage to the house we had rented for four weeks in the Sacred Valley.

So we went to Peru. As the dream instructed, we rented a house for four weeks in the Sacred Valley. Though transport from the airport was arranged in advance. I should will write blog posts about that trip, but I haven’t yet. Someday. Check back.

When it was time to leave Peru, we had three flights spanning 23 hours of travel time, including a rather nasty reintroduction to American culture in the form of an aggressive woman making an incident out of my desire to sit down in my seat on a post-midnight flight with a sleeping 5-year-old in my arms. Finally we made it home. After we put both children in their beds and dragged in the epic quantities of luggage, I happened to glance out the glass door into our tiny yard. And what did I see there? A bone. A large, straight bone sitting right in front of the glass door, shining white in the light streaming out of the living room.

The next day, I checked the spot where we had buried the other bone. It was undisturbed.

After a few days of carefully stepping around the bone, it vanished. I asked Mikhail. He had also noticed the bone when we got home, but he hadn’t moved it. When we asked the boys about it, they looked at us blankly. I assumed the bone had been an import of my sister’s family, who stayed with their large dog for several days in our house while we were away. But when I asked her about it, she had no idea what I was talking about.


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