The Phantom Mother
Doña Panchita always took excellent care of her homestead, cooking, cleaning, and caring for the animals while her husband, Don Cesario, spends his time herding goats in the mountains. They have had this life together for more than 6 decades. It is rare nowadays to find people so simple and pure. They lived so far away from the world and its problems just until the last few years when the urban sprawl began to encroach on their tranquil valley. I had hoped that this expansion would take longer and that these noble people would be able to live out their days in their accustomed peace and harmony. Noble people who live close to nature have a certain blessing, as if they have some deep secrets about life that the city dwellers could never discover. People from the city seem so hollow compared to these authentic beings. Capitalist education, too many extraneous desires, and shallow materialistic values only degrade the human race and make us unfit to continue evolving. It is rare to see traces of strong character and spiritual vitality in the dwellers of the Matrix. They seem like little children when compared to people who have learned the secrets of the mountain.
In recent years Doña Panchita would forget how long her husband had been away in the mountains. She would prepare his food and then anxiously look for him. He realized that she was becoming forgetful and that she was losing track of time. She continues with all of the same activities that she has done for decades, only she has become a little forgetful.
A few weeks ago Don Cesario took his goats out to pasture. He came upon his dog who was chewing on a human arm. The narcos began to dump bodies near their home recently, people who were kidnapped and held for ransom but were never claimed. 3 bodies were found by the road that crosses near his home within just 2 weeks. I have known for several years that this has gone on in the valley. Those who reported such incidents in the past were silenced and even murdered by the local authorities, the narco government.
Don Cesario did not tell his wife about the body. On the days that followed the discovery of the body Dona Panchita began to prepare food for not just her husband but for five other people. She would get worried about her husband being gone for so long and then go and look for him with his meal prepared. While returning with her in the afternoons he noticed that there were always 5 plates of food by the road side. He asked his wife about it and she said she had 5 children to feed. She was insistent that he not interfere nor question her about this. We all thought that she had become more senile.
The other day we finally get word about who the victim was. She was a woman from a nearby city who left behind 5 children.
Last year a friend who helps us in the garden was walking back home from work with us. She saw a man in a blue plaid shirt run away from a small area of trees. He later simply vanished from before her eyes in an open field. When she passed by the group of trees she saw some police officers pulling a dead man with a blue plaid shirt out of an abandoned vehicle.
Pluma Blanca arrived at the ranch the other day. He came just at the right time as I was completely exhausted with the defense of our ranch against the Santa Muerte neighbors. They are the narco-trafficker’s religious cult that is protected by the local government in many places. Whenever these demons kidnap and torture people they turn on a motorcycle without a muffler that is very noisy and covers the screams of the tortured. I had hardly slept for a week because they turned on that motorcycle every night between midnight and 3 a.m., the traditional “witching hour” when dark occultists have traditionally performed their rights. Instead of sleeping, I meditated all through these dark hours.
The ranch was recently invaded by a flock of crows. They come and attack the other birds. We had almost no birds here in the desert until we dug our trenches to collect rainwater and make a mini oasis. To me, it seemed a perfect literary image: all of this suffering and death adorned with a final, dreadful touch of black crows that prey on our peaceful dove and sparrow. It was as if reality is communicating with me through symbols. Its uncanny, but is it just my imagination?
Pluma Blanca began beating his drum and shouting in Maya and then chanting “Baba Nam Kevalam.” I ran outside from my meditations and was inspired to go and attack the narco compound with my bare hands, such was the inspiration. He was chasing off the crows. I understood that he saw them as an ominous symbol. He pointed to the crows and then to the direction of the narco compound. I intuitively understood that he saw the crows as a live symbol connected with the narco camp. If we run them off, then we effect those whom they serve. It all made a certain symbolic sense, and I went along with it all in a high state of emotion and put my intellectual questions aside for the moment. At that time we begin to hear the motorcycle. It gets closer and we see a man riding it and shouting like a madman. It was the first time we had seen the motorcycle and the rider leave the compound. We had a chance to look him in the eyes and send him a gaze that penetrated his entire being. He won’t come around any longer.
I have lived with indigenous Mexicans for the last 13 years. Although I sometimes doubt their credulity in such magic realities, I have seen so many occasions in which these ideas have lead to the most amazing revelations of truth. Pluma Blanca was a very refined yogi. My friend was his favorite student. He understood all of these practices without superstition and myth and taught very advanced, systematic meditations to understand these “magical realities.”Vishal Quetzal, author profile