A Poem for Paqos

This poem was sent to me by a former student, Denise Covarrubias, who also sent her sensitive and thoughtful translation. However, I have edited that translation using my own judgment and understanding, and with the help of Spanish translation Andean old woman compressed and cropped indigenous-609479_1920software. There is no known title, nor is the author known. (The line breaks may differ depending on how you are viewing it.)

This is a poem of teaching that I believe all paqos will find enlightening and restorative. In our way of walking the path, we know, however, that we must learn to do this healing work ourselves, rather than rely on others, even a wise old woman. Still, this is a beautiful message to launch us into the new year, and I hope it touches you heart and soul.

The wise old woman said:

If you come to me as a victim, I will not support you.
But I will have the courage to walk with you through the pain you are suffering.
I will put you to the fire, I will strip you, and I will sit you on the earth.
I will bathe you with herbs, purge you, and vomit the anger and darkness inside you.
I will strike your body with healing herbs, and place you on the grass, looking up to the sky.
I will blow into your forehead to scare away the thoughts that cloud your vision.
I will blow into your throat to untie the knot that won’t let you speak.
I will blow into your heart to chase away the fear, so that it goes so far away it can never again find you.
I will blow into your solar plexus to extinguish the hell-fire within you, and you will
know peace.
I will blow with fire into your belly to burn away attachments, the love that was not.
I will blow away the lovers who left you, the children that never were.
I will blow into your heart to warm you, to rekindle your desire to feel, create, and begin again.
I will blow with force into your energy centers to clean the sexual door of your soul.
I will throw away the garbage you collected trying to love what did not want to be loved.
I will use a broom, sponge, and rag to safely clean all the bitterness inside you.
I will blow on your hands to destroy the bonds that prevent you from creating.
I will blow on your feet to remove the dust and erase the memories of the tracks, so that you can never return to that bad place.
I will turn your body over so your face will kiss the earth.
I will blow on your spinal column from root to neck to increase your strength and
help you walk upright.
And I will let you rest.
After this you will cry, and after crying you will sleep.
And you will dream beautiful and meaningful dreams.
And when you wake up, I will be waiting for you.
I will smile at you, and you will smile back.
I will offer you food, and you will eat with pleasure, savoring life, and I will thank you.
Because what I am offering you today, I was once offered, when the darkness lived
in me.
And after I was healed, I felt the darkness leave,
And I cried.