The spiral of my life began in a full-blown social uprising. I was in my mother’s womb when the police detained her with others in a protest. My mother also used to sing before I was born; my maternal grandfather played the piano while my grandmother made world maps and took care of a store. My father was a laborer at that time, like my paternal grandfather who was a lathe operator; my grandmother was the daughter of Patagonia farmers. At an early age, I experienced the last military dictatorship in Argentina. My parents tried to keep us away from the horror that they were living, but I remember the fear they expressed with their eyes and my own fear of everyone who seemed menacing.
Fortunately I lived in a neighborhood where a lot of children played. We also drew, sang and performed plays with my siblings and cousins. All of the foregoing shaped my passion and purpose in this world. Another element came in also that passed unnoticed for many years. In the summer school that I attended with other children, one hot afternoon they took us for a walk to a small wooden bridge over a stream. The teachers were chatting among themselves a few yards away when the comments of the little ones caught my attention. I looked toward where they were pointing and saw something that I still cannot distinguish from a dream; in the muddy ravine of the stream, carved in the black earth, was a large face with thick lips, wide nose and two brilliant carmine red stones in the sockets of both eyes. I contemplated the image in silence and heard someone saying to the children that the face was made by the “Indians,” that if a rock were thrown at it, this would bring rain.
I was developing my interest in drawing, sports, making songs and also participation in politics. When I was invited to play in a rock band, I felt that at last I had a place in the world. However, something wasn’t working. Some years later my music friends had children or their work required all their time. It was then that a friend loaned me A Separate Reality by Carlos Castaneda. When I finished the book, I went out to the street like always, but for the first time, I walked in compete silence. And it was while taking such a walk some time afterward that I made the decision to follow the “path with heart.” I understood what it was that wasn’t working for me in relation to music. What I was really looking for was a way to feel safe and recognized. I wanted to be like the famous musicians. In order to follow the new path, I had to make an arrangement: From then on, music would be my traveling companion and I would sing for whoever wanted to listen.
To follow the path with heart, what would be better than to travel to Mexico! Moreover, I would see whether I could take care of myself alone. I corroborated in the land of Mexico the immense heritage of ancient wisdom, still expressed in their infinite culture. However, little by little I lost my impetus to make the trip, and found myself exhausted by daily life and a heartbreak. Walking one afternoon, the idea came to me that I should meet new people. That night I encountered a practitioner of the energy passes, who took me to a practice the next day. There I met my wife.
The energy passes gave me an enormous push and my beloved proposed that we go to Michoacan to live on a farm. But still… I was afraid. I decided to take a walk in the mountains in order to make a big decision. In the train station, a man who was walking beside me gave me a magazine. A sign! But no matter how much I read the copy, I couldn’t find anything that would resolve my doubts. Actually, I didn’t really know what I wanted to make of my life. For several years of ups and downs, I lived this purpose with my companion, but I still had the sensation of doubt. I could have saved myself a lot of unpleasantness and enjoyed that period better if I had paid more attention to the magazine that the mysterious man gave me. I had kept it and looked through it years after: On the inside cover there was an enormous photograph of the monarch butterflies, the symbol of Michoacan!
Then the farm moved to the province of Cordoba, Argentina. During a stalking exercise, when we were asked to find the stone that we still have in our heart, I closed my eyes and relived the terror of the time of the dictatorship in the country. But I also saw the image of my grandmothers with white handkerchiefs who, with the aid of institutions, achieved the goal that these people who terrorized me received their just reward. I decided to leave this fear behind.
My lineage, the face carved in the muddy ravine, the music, the energy passes, the love for my fellow man, my beloved… everything strung together in the spiral of this life.
The Sword Form, performed by Pablo Baynon