Originally published Thursday, March 23, 2006.

Mexica Crossings… heading south

Mott trip to Kalpulli, Mexica Culture, San Martin de las Piramides 3/06

The above photo was taken March 11th from the mountain looking over the valley of Teotihuacan where Las Piramides del Sol y La Luna reside. From above, they appear modest statements of stone, blending into the mountain landscape that surrounds Mexico City beyond our view.

Mott trip to Kalpulli, Mexica Culture, San Martin de las Piramides 3/06

I went with a group of 11 students and faculty, lead by Celia Perez-Booth, from Mott Community College. My goal was to make some personal explorations of my family roots, a side that I’d fairly ignored, if only amused by memories of my grandmother singing “Ba Ba Loo” when I was a teen. I’d heard that my “real” grandfather had been of Spanish/Incan (Quechua) mix. But he had died long before my time, leaving that side of our heritage shrouded in the mists.

So when the opportunity arose, I felt compelled to join Celia and her group. But in the ensuing months, I also felt a chill of fear, odd since I had lived in Fiji for six years, and traveled many times on my own or with groups. Time and again, there seemed to offer a moment to “back out”, but there seemed a strong but quiet voice that continued to counter any desire to flee, a silent voice that said “it’s important for you to go.”

Mott trip to Kalpulli, Mexica Culture, San Martin de las Piramides 3/06So when I did go, I found that the immediate cross-cultural challenges did not come from the people of the land we were about to visit. It came from within the group. Again, I was somewhat taken aback. For I was used to dealing with a wide range of personalities, each student with their own personal quirks and personal challenges.

But it took only a short way in the car-ride to the airport to spot potential trouble, when I, and my colleague, were quickly confronted by another older female student who announced that we married ladies must be “running away” from our husbands and “bad marriages”. My colleague and I chose to shrug it off, at 5 am we had no energy for a personal confrontation. But by around 7 am, the personal attack continued, signs of some serious self-esteem and personal projection issues. Eventually, in the 48 hours or so that followed, there would be two more serious confrontations, the last leaving me feeling shaken for it was accompanied by a nearly physical encounter that sent a bolt of negative energy towards my chest like a bullet.

As a result of this last, most serious encounter, I chose to step back and keep my distance from this apparent sociopath who was unable to contain her anger and, even more so, unable to listen or participate with the group in a meaningful way. She appears in only two or three photos in the entire collection, for I chose to not let her negative energy impose upon the beauty of the memories of the visual and aural experiences we were about to encounter.

Mott trip to Kalpulli, Mexica Culture, San Martin de las Piramides 3/06
Above: Moonrise over the Kalihuey, Teotihuacan. 3/11/06.

As I begin to digest the sensorial feast of last week, I will add more to this weblog. For it was far more than a simple visit to the mountains of Mexico. It was an experience that transcended intellect, transcended beauty. The experience became a series of zen moments, occurring swiftly, yet in slow motion, spiritual, yet grounded. All the while, I felt I was in the presence of something so much greater than one small person. A feeling that I could burst in a luscious cosmic explosion of light and enlightenment.

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