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Teri J. Dluznieski

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Cafe of the Hungry Ghosts
By Teri J. Dluznieski
Saturday, March 19, 2011

Rated "PG13" by the Author.

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Everyone has a bubble. Literally and metaphorically. Most times, they are reflections of each other. The one mirrors the other. The energy bubble encircles the body, like the glow around a softly lit candle. People go about their days, in their own little bubbles, interacting with other bubbles, sometimes smoothly, sometimes not so smoothly. All of these mundane interactions are controlled by the invisible bubble the energy bubble that is the hard drive of our lives- recording and organizing virtually everything, all past and present. It also keeps us in proportion, within this world and plane of existence… but also with all the other planes of existence. all future interactions are recorded by the invisible, energy bubble. It is the hard drive of our lives and souls. It exists on many levels, and more effective and efficient than the world’s most powerful super-computer. Like an AI, it has a life and mind of it’s own. Usually it is playing out the patterns and choices we have created and constructed. Sometimes, though… the mirror becomes a portal. Sometimes this mirror shifts, and reflects things from other-where. The mirror...changes, and something else entirely, reflects into our lives. Perhaps this is the fuel that feeds our imaginations, and our darker fears. Occasionally, worse happens. The mirror… becomes a portal. A doorway that opens into that other place. And as we know from any sci fi movies…. Nothing good ever stepped through a portal…

 

Everyone has a bubble. Literally and metaphorically. Most times, they are reflections of each other. The one mirrors the other. The energy bubble encircles the body, like the glow around a softly lit candle. People go about their days, in their own little bubbles, interacting with other bubbles, sometimes smoothly, sometimes not so smoothly. All of these mundane interactions are controlled by the invisible bubble the energy bubble that is the hard drive of our lives- recording and organizing virtually everything, all past and present. It also keeps us in proportion, within this world and plane of existence… but also with all the other planes of existence. all future interactions are recorded by the invisible, energy bubble. It is the hard drive of our lives and souls. It exists on many levels, and more effective and efficient than the world’s most powerful super-computer. Like an AI, it has a life and mind of it’s own. Usually it is playing out the patterns and choices we have created and constructed. Sometimes, though… the mirror becomes a portal. Sometimes this mirror shifts, and reflects things from other-where. The mirror...changes, and something else entirely, reflects into our lives. Perhaps this is the fuel that feeds our imaginations, and our darker fears. Occasionally, worse happens. The mirror… becomes a portal. A doorway that opens into that other place. And as we know from any sci fi movies…. Nothing good ever stepped through a portal…

WAYRA


Wayra has always been a medicine person. Her name meant: Golden Wind. The Golden Wind was both her essence, and what she drew from as a healer. She listened to the golden Wind, and drew on its Power when she performed healings. Wayra was mixed blood, but was part of a very long and ancient lineage of healers. Her father had come from far away, in the Andes mountains. But like many of her people, he left there, to find work. Her mother was from here, but was mixed blood, also from the Andean people. A lineage of healers: gifted with the ability to see and repair the things invisible to most people. A proud and powerful line of healers that worked in the service of their community. A lineage that stretched back to the very beginnings of her people. Some said 10,000 years, some said fifty, or 100 thousand years. The exact number was not so very important. Medicine People lived in a realm that was more inbetween worlds, where Time didn't have the same meaning, or importance. She never fully understood people, running around every day, in a hurry to get here, or there, by a certain time. People were always worried about being late, or behind. Very silly. How could one ever be behind where one was? You were where you were, and that Place, was the only Place you could possibly be at that moment!

 

She lived on the edge of a small town, a migrant community. She performed personal healing ceremonies for the members of her community. She was called on for a variety of things: her first responsibility was to pray for rain, good crops, and healthy livestock. It was also her work to remove evil energy from spaces, transition misplaced ancestors and ghosts on to their next realm. That happened often. The ancestors were so troubled by the state of the world. They were most troubled by the living world, the world their children were living in; the modern world. This sense of disturbance ran deep, like a current through a River. Often, parents, and elders, were so worried about their children and community, that they could not release this-world when they died. They continued to hover, just out of range of human senses. They remained, sometimes with their own lives and wounds unresolved, still looking for the help and healing they never received when they were alive. This happened more and more. The People, did not follow the Old Ways, working with the medicine traditions for the important passages and points in their lives. People were born, became adults, married, had children and died. These were all times that should have the support from the invisible worlds.

 

The invisible world supported what could be seen, like Water that holds up a boat, or the Wind that keeps a bird in flight. Unseen, but absolutely essential for the success of life and happiness. There was the water, and the wind: and then there was the Water, Mamacocha, and the Wind: the essence and power , the animated energy of those things. The good will of those forces was essential. The good will of all the universes forces was essential. But the main ones: Earth, Water, Sun, and Wind. Lives were like a seed, or plant. No one could live without those things, all working together.

 

Wayra did what was in her Power to do for the people of her community, her village. That was the role of the medicine person. Less often now did her work include the children. They were choosing the white mans' ways, western ways, modern ways. But those who had been raised in the traditions, still came to her, and the elders came to her. She did what she could, to keep their community in balance, and in balance in its relationship to the Western world. The community reciprocated by providing small services for her as needed: repairing a broken pipe, fixing the roof, butchering the chickens- the little things that made her daily existence easier. Those who could afford it, made cash donations as well, such was the skill of her work. Her reputation was well known; she was an investment. Many times, she worked for nothing, knowing it was her work, to keep the village community healthy. Then later, an envelope would be left at her door, containing money, as someone's fortunes improved and they were in a place to repay her for her work. They did genuinely value her work and contribution to their well-being. No one who had worked with her, ever doubted her ability- no matter how bizarre or silly it might seem to them on a first visit.

More and more often, Wayra received inquiries from outside. People came to her with the problems that western medicine and beliefs just weren’t designed to handle. Vague sense of things not being right, disturbances that western belief tried in vain, to attach labels and syndrome names… but never quite fit… and never really fixed. Most of these things were the sorts of things she did for her own people; familiar things, like haunting, and curses, sorcery. These sorts of problems could manifest in many ways, bad luck, crop failures, sickness, sick animals, unhappiness, relationships suddenly ending- the things that defied explanation.

 

In her work she was many things. She was a spirit guide, but she was also a learned herbalist: she knew plants carried much and potent healing power. Power that western people had long forgotten. Many of her 'outside' clients were surprised to know that most of their most common and potent medicines came from the plants right around them. Willow , was aspirin. Digitalis, was made from the foxglove plant- a potent heart medicine. Looking on the market shelves, most modern remedies for flu, carried sambucol as the main ingredient. That was just a fancy Latin name for Elderflower plant; elderflower grew all over. It was making itself entirely available, asking to be used, to be helpful in its environment: ALL things served some purpose, fit into their ecosystem. Peppermint was the absolute best, most effective remedy for anything upsetting the stomach. It overgrew itself in places, so eager was it to be noticed! It was PEOPLE, who were less and less fitting in, but rather, trying to dominate and over-master the world in which they lived.

 

As well as being herbalist, treating those things that were physically wrong. Part herbalist, part advisor. Much of her work consisted of listening; listening, between the lines of what was said, and hearing also, that which was invisible. Hearing what was in the wind, that blew across people's lives. She thought of each person, much like a sailboat. Sometimes the boat was in trouble, or not getting to its destination, or could not find fish. The boat and crew were only one part. Wayra also understood and knew how to look at the Water, and the Wind, for they too were present, and active. There were many factors and variables: even in the simplest seeming circumstances.

Trudy's Café

Early afternoon was one of Wayra's favourite time of day. She liked to walk into the nearby village, with the late morning sun and light breeze playing on her face. The light breeze, was cool and playful; the sun was like a golden warm embrace. Her walking time was time for her to connect with the animal worlds, and her totems, who always accompanied her on her outings. Much like domestic pets, they were usually eager for time outside, to play and explore. It was a perfect hike; and it took her a little over an hour to walk to the village. She took her time, and arrived after lunch was over, and people had returned to their jobs, at the local quarries and plants.

 

One of her favourite destinations was the local cafe', which had an inviting atmosphere. The blue walls reminded her of open sky. The local college students had filled the walls with their art: young, vibrant, passionate about the environment and the world they were newly learning about in the environmental program. Again, it seemed a bit silly, that children had to go to school to learn what any child should learn growing up: how to grow food, tend the soil, the planet. But Wayra was glad that these western children were learning what was important- regardless of the source. She had had many conversations with the students, in the cafe. Wayra shared with them her perspectives, learned from growing up with the right-way of living with the Earth. Pachamama. Some of them showed genuine interest, understanding. Stories she told, that explained what was important, and like the little children of her village, Wayra taught them.

 

Sometimes though, Wayra liked some time to herself. Early afternoon was ideal, as lunch was done, so the cafe was quiet. Her time. Wayra settled down with steaming hot tea. Trudy worked behind the counter, wiping things down, filling sugar, and all the other things that needed to be done in the café. Trudy enjoyed early afternoons, when it was quiet, and Wayra would come in and talk about all sorts of bizarrely fascinating things. Whether Wayra was talking with the local kids, or to her, Trudy listened. So much of what Wayra said sounded so bizarre at first; but over time, Trudy began to piece together an understanding, a different perspective. Trudy's perception of the world had changed incredibly, since she had known Wayra. For one thing, she had a much greater awareness of almost everything she did- an almost creepy sense of self-consciousness. Occasionally she wished she knew and understood less than she did. But not really. She remembered when she understood less, and missed it, but did not truly wish to be that person again. As Wayra would say, Once Inti shines the sun in your face, it is very difficult to go back to sleep.

“The invisible world… it’s all around us. Some people call it God, or Nature, or the faery world. Many names. Same idea. We are all part of a Living World, that has many layers, many mysteries. The ancestors knew... what your physicists are only now discovering. Everything we can see, in all the wide universe... only makes up 6% of everything there is, IN the universe. Oh, they call it dark matter, and dark energy, and exotic energy,” Wayra commented offhandedly, making references to Science and physics easily and readily. She might be of migrant descent, but she was very self-educated. Lectures at the college, books, videos, and the internet: all were valuable resources for understanding the complex world in which she lived. The invisible world she understood. But she wanted to understand the world that was unfolding for other people: for whom she did healing work. How did THEY perceive and understand the world? It was like learning a second language, or a foreign culture. Also she had a natural and insatiable curiosity. The world of science did, in fact, fascinate her.

 

Wayra stopped to take a sip of tea. Also, she paused: to see if Trudy was still following her. Wayra considered their conversation, while sipping her tea. Wayra opted for a more tangible and personal approach. She looked up, pausing in her thoughts, while Trudy turned her attention to a customer, who had walked in for a late lunch. While Trudy was busy, Wayra studied the little details of the cafe. Then she noticed a woman who had wandered in behind the customer. The woman was in her late middle-years, but looked in vibrant good health. Wayra smiled at the woman, whom otherwise went unnoticed. The woman smiled at Wayra, a slightly sad smile, but then looked at Trudy, and that sadness was replaced by pride and absolute love.

 

The customer all set, lunch packed to go, Wayra turned back to Trudy, and her attention turned back to the conversation.

 

... Your aunt died last month. Correct? Where did she GO, do you think?”

“what do you mean?”

“Well, her body, was put in the ground. But that was her body. Even the way we talk about it, her body isn’t her. When you talk about HER... you are not talking about the part that was buried. Correct?”

“Well, yeah, I talk about who she was.”

“Right, so, unless you believe that when we die- we just dissolve...and there is no afterlife… well, then we must go… somewhere… ? Correct?...

“Your aunt.. she still IS… she is just…well, not-here. Not in the “here” that we can see and feel and understand. In fact, Wayra smiled, looking across the cafe' “... she IS here, now… Our ancestors are always on hand to help and support us, and just like when they are living... when they hear their name... they tend to show up—they are just as caring, and curious... after they have moved on…” Wayra smiled. “I bet you were thinking about her, just before that customer walked in through the door.” Wayra asked, knowingly.

 

Trudy looked a bit flustered, not quite sure what to do with this new data. For all of the crazy things Wayra brought into the cafe, both literally and ideologically, this was the most far-fetched: or perhaps just affecting Trudy at a personal level. Unsettling.

“My aunt. who raised me- is HERE, NOW..?” Disbelief mingled with curiosity. Trudy peered tentatively around her, as though she might be able to see her aunt. “Well, shit! You're just full of surprises. Holy hell!” Hope mingled with disbelief. “What does she want?”

Wayra looked thoughtful, pausing, as she sipped her tea. She looked at the woman, Listening. “She just wants you to know she is okay. She was curious to know how you are doing. And she likes the cafe' She says you have made changes since the last time she was here. She likes them. Oh, and she says, your son, the younger one… he is troubled, and following something that will cause him harm. Teach him karate, or martial art, so he can learn the difference between anger, and power.”

Trudy felt a wave of love, and sadness, for the woman who had been so very dear to her. No matter how many times Wayra did one of her “readings”... it never quite stopped being a little bit spooky. The world was tricky enough, with all of the known and unknown risks and dangers. Adding the invisible on top of it… was quite un-nerving. Ancestors, ghosts, spirits, and who knew what else, lurking just outside of what and where we could perceive... Hell, she knew Wayra had never met Trudy's son; but Wayra had undeniably described what her son was experiencing: perfectly.

“Thanks. So very much. You have taught me so much about the world and helped me and my family,” Trudy was gracious, and put out soup and a slice of pie for Wayra. Then Trudy paused, unsure for a moment. “Wayra, I don’t know if you could help or not, with a friend, who has been having some… well… I’m not even sure what to call them.. troubles, maybe? Macki, Mackenzie... she’s not really sick. She's actually a student, down the road. And I’ve known her for years- so I know she’s not crazy or anything like that. I’m not even sure why I’m asking. And I would never mean to impose on you. But there’s something, not quite right. Maybe you could talk to her. I don’t know what all of what you do. But I know you sort of help, well, fix things... put them to rights. And maybe you might see something in all that invisible stuff that could help her.” One of Trudy's amazing gifts, as the centerpiece of town, was connecting different people together!

Wayra listened closely, and watched. She was an attentive listener, on all the levels. Wayra paused, looking into the invisible world. Something sparked, decidedly catching her attention, something that sort of made her inner jaguar, her hunter, stand up and take notice. Her Jaguar, her guide through much of the unseen worlds, had never shown up like that, for a casual energetic inquiry. That caught her curiosity and her concern.

“Tell her to call me.” Wayra definitely wanted to meet this young girl.

 

 

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Reviewed by Linden Brough 3/19/2011
A very interesting read - makes the inner leap! Thank you Teri.


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