By Tom Reavley
One night I got into a taxi in Mexico City with my daughter and a friend. We were taking my daughter to see a famous healer in the city. There was a soft rain outside and the city lights were reflected in the wet streets. The traffic was calm for Mexico City and we proceeded toward the Coyoacán neighborhood. I was excited and, at the same time, nervous–this thing of going to see a healer, especially with my daughter, was unknown territory for me. She was confiding in me but I really didn’t understand anything about what we were doing. The only thing that sustained me was a sense of magic all around us, the feeling of being in a protective cocoon as we traveled to the appointment.
The story began three months earlier. My whole family thought that my mother was close to dying and we all traveled to her city on the west coast of the United States. It was the first time I had seen my daughter in six months; she had just graduated from her university and was working far away from where I lived in Mexico. The emotional link between us remained damaged after the divorce five years earlier.
We would see each other and talk, but there was a barrier–we were not able to be really honest and present with each other like before. Nevertheless, when I learned of her health problems and after my mother recovered, I decided to risk feeling foolish and proposed that she goes with me to see the healer in Mexico. I was almost certain that she would reject the idea.
I probably never would have even mentioned the idea if some unusual things had not occurred pointing me in this direction. One day I was eating with a group of people in San Luis Potosí. A woman from Mexico City began to talk about the autobiography of Alejandro Jodorowsky. I was fascinated by her comments and decided that I would like to read the book if I could find a copy.
That same night I returned to my apartment in Guanajuato and the young man who shared the apartment and who knew nothing about my conversation earlier that day in San Luis, came into my bedroom and, without any preliminaries, offered to loan me that very book by Jodorowsky. He had not even read it himself but thought that it might interest me. I was amazed at the coincidence and read the entire book within a few days. I enjoyed it immensely, especially the stories about Jodorowsky’s experiences with Doña Pachita, a very well-known healer or curandera in Mexico City.
Years before, I had read about this same healer in the books of Carlos Castaneda. Jodorowsky wrote that Pachita had died but that her son continued her healing practice in Paris. A week later I was talking with a close friend in Guanajuato about something else and she mentioned out of the blue that she had been treated by Pachita’s son, who wasn’t in Paris but in Mexico City. She offered to accompany my daughter to see “El Hermano” (as the being who communicated through the healer was known). She also offered us lodging at her family’s home in Mexico City.
One week after proposing a visit to the healer to my daughter she called me and agreed. The most surprising thing was that even her mother was also supportive. I felt that things were arranging themselves and flowing so easily and naturally that the only way to proceed was just to accept it all and let go of my habit of trying to control everything.
That night in the taxi, I was traveling in a dream–the world was new, almost unknown. I was amazed at my daughter’s calmness and her courage and, I was so grateful to my friend for having facilitated everything. She formed an emotional connection with my daughter immediately after meeting her and offered her unconditional maternal support.
The healer recommended that my daughter have a psychic “operation”. Afterwards she had to stay in bed for five days, without getting up except to go to the bathroom. He prescribed a special diet and some herbal teas. During those days I looked after my daughter with all my attention and care as if she were a newborn baby. I made the teas, went to the local market to buy the necessary food and ingredients and I kept her company in her bedroom when she was not sleeping.
With time my daughter’s physical condition improved, but I believe what was even more important was what happened between us. For the first time since my separation from her mother, we found again the confidence, honesty and love between us that had been lost.
After returning to her home, my daughter wrote to Lilia, our host in Mexico City. She expressed her gratitude for Lilia’s help in recovering her father. I also thanked Lilia and her lovely family for having helped me get my daughter back. Even beyond my thanks to Lilia, her family and the curandero, my gratitude extended to and still touches something more abstract but so real: the energetic soul of this enchanting city, that sent me a messenger to San Luis Potosí and the perfect host for my daughter, and that wrapped us in a healing cocoon, a shared dream that I will never forget.