Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Weekend with Tlakaelel, part 1

Where do I even start? I have something like 40 pages of notes in chicken-scrawl which I have to type up. Some of them I might post; some of them are just for me. He is an amazing man. He's in his late 80's, and looks maybe 60, and that's taking into account how someone who's lived a harsh life is aged by the sun & wind. I have a couple of pictures of him, and after I suck them out of my camera I'll post them.
He's a tiny little guy, way shorter than me. Maybe 4'10? I'm 5'4 and I had to bend over to hug him. His Spanish is mostly pretty clear, and I could understand some of it. My goal is to improve my Spanish enough to talk to him next year without needing every word interperted.
I'll just do an overview of the weekend now, and flesh it out over the next few days as I come back to earth.
Friday night we had talk #1. First he talked a lot, and then we passed the talking stick, and everyone got to make a comment or ask a question. I asked about how we can help the new Sun come in more smoothly. He said I was already doing it.
Saturday morning we had another talk, with the talking stick. Some repitition because some people hadn't been there the night before. Then lunch, and then we started on the sweat lodge--the Temaskal (sp?). Spent all afternoon buiding the Temaskal, and then from around 7:30 or 8:00 to almost midnight cooking in it. Maestro Tlakaelel came out for a few minutes and sat with us while we were building, but he had high blood pressure and he was coughing a lot and he didn't want to lead the sweat, so he wasn't in there with us.
Sunday morning we had another talk, followed by an extended lunch break (about 2 1/2 hours) and then a cooking lesson by Tlakaelel--Spanish rice, Chiles Rellenos, guacomole, & green mole. The cooking lesson was outside in a tent in the rain, and lasted several hours. Then we ate the cooking and stayed up until 1 a.m. talking. Maestro retired to his room to do whatever it is he does in there (he said he spends a lot of time doing manual calculations on the calendar).
Monday morning we had talk #4, which wrapped up around noon. In response to my question of late Sunday, he spoke for an extended amount of time on the Aztec calendar--I didn't have a watch but I'd say it was close to an hour!! That made it worth the money I paid to go there!
I had a private session with Tlakaelel (the only one he did all weekend! I'm honored!) and headed home, utterly exhausted. It took me almost 90 minutes to get there on Friday and less than an hour to get home. Isn't time warping great?

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