The Mysteries Around Us - Lifting The Veil
There Is Much More Here Than Meets The Eye
Life on the surface is what most of us deal with everyday. What we see when we look around is what we expect to see. We tend to approach life, the earth, each other and our surroundings in a way that makes them seem mundane. When we look at a tree or a flower we believe that we know what they are because we have names for them and even if we do not know what type of tree or flower they are we take it for granted that we know what they are inherently by the generic name - tree or flower.
In western cultures we are raised to be very left-brained. We enjoy having technology and science tell us what everything is. Water, for instance, is H2O, two parts of Hydrogen and one part of Oxygen. We aspire to use science and technology to remove the mystery from life by compartmentalizing everything into words. But, a tree is so much more than its chemical parts and so is water and so are we.
Travel is one of my great loves and my husband and I have traveled quite a bit over the years. We have been to many locations in Mexico and it is one of our favorite places to visit. Many years ago, we flew into Mexico City, enjoyed this wonderful metropolis for a couple of days, then rented a car and headed to the ruins at Teotihuacan. We parked near the entrance to this amazing historical site and began our adventure. Just inside the main access to the ruins there was an old man selling numerous small carvings. He used many different types of stone to make these carvings. They each averaged between 4 and 6 inches and were mostly likenesses of Teotihuacano warriors or structures within the complex. I was familiar with all of the types of stone used in his carving except one. It was an aqua colored stone which was transparent.
The main street of this ancient city is called 'Avenida de la Muete', or in English, Avenue of the Dead. There are many structures in these ruins which are truly extraordinary given how old the city is and how long ago it was built. There are pyramids of the Sun and Moon, other structures which must have been used for commerce and for living and at the far end of this amazing site, there is a temple. Throughout the complex are many Mexican vendors selling similar items dressed in colorful shirts and jeans or skirts. We greeted many of the vendors as we toured the site and spoke with them in Spanish as we continued along the way. When we reached the end where the temple was located, the vendors of that area surrounded us as they had elsewhere and showed us their wares. Just outside the circle around us, a native man, dressed in a black cowboy hat, a long sleeved white shirt with the cuffs rolled up, black pants and black cowboy boots, was looking intently at me while he was removing a cover from a carving he was holding in his other hand. The carving was the silhouette of a northern native american with a crown of feathers and was about 14 to 16 inches tall made from this same aqua quartz the old man in the entrance used. It was truly exquisite. I pointed over the crowd to this piece and in Spanish said to the man, "I want that." It had been a very hot day and we had been walking for many hours at this point. I did not want us to have to carry this artpiece any longer than necessary, so I indicated to him that we were going to see the temple and to please hold it for us to purchase when we came back out to this area.
We proceeded to walk towards the temple and spent about 15 minutes viewing the beautiful murals contained within its walls. When we came out I looked for the man who had shown us this remarkable piece to complete a sale with him and did not see him anywhere. We asked the other vendors, we had seen before, about this person and the carving and were told that each vendor in the complex has an assigned area and they all know each other well. They also said the man I was describing does not exist among them and that the only person within the site who works with this material is the old man in the entrance. Well, not being one to give up easily, we started back towards the entrance and asked everyone who works these areas about this man and about his sculpture and they all said the same thing. There is no one like you are describing and the only person working with this crystal is the old man down at the beginning.
My husband speaks Spanish fluently and I speak enough to get by pretty well. So, we knew there was no misunderstanding in our inquiry and their responses. We finally made our way back down to the old man near the entrance. We told him of this event, described the man and the piece itself. He said that it was rare to find this crystal in large quantities to make a carving of that size. He also reiterated that none of the vendors fit this description and that he, himself, is the only one there who works with this crystal. But, that's not all he said. He also went on to say that I had been offered an extraordinary gift. He believed the man I saw was a spirit and that I should have taken this gift because of the amazing nature of the sculpture and of the experience, itself. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I had not taken advantage of it.
Throughout the remainder of our trip, I searched for something that would be similar to this artpiece and, although, I found other larger carvings than the old man at the site had, I never found anything to rival this amazing piece of art.
I really make an attempt to learn from things that happen in my life, and this was no exception. The lesson here was that in extraordinary circumstances I was very ordinary. But because of this occurance my eyes were opened to the mystery of life and I have never again looked at a person, a tree, a flower or a scene without marveling at all the wonder that exists around us.