But there was one detail which was still dominating hours of my thought, and that was the moth I blogged about a few weeks ago. I asked to see her and she showed up on my doorstep the following morning. Then, as I sat on my knees and prayed for her to stop suffering- she was beaten up badly- she disappeared. Just... disappeared. Of all the fantastical things I've experienced over the past two years, this one just kept nagging me. The message she was bringing was too big for me to discern on my own. I could feel that she was trying to communicate something, but its reach seemed just beyond my grasp. It was as if I wasn't good enough, or advanced enough to read her. Then three people- highly connected people- sent me private messages regarding the connection between this moth and the moth in the book by Carlos Castaneda, Tales of Power. Although I had been drawn to Carlos Castaneda in the past, I've never read much by him because, frankly, he scared me. But now, after a friend sent me the cover of the book- with the same moth on the front- I knew whatever it was that I needed to understand would lie within its pages. I committed to visiting the Half-Priced Bookstore in Minneapolis while I was there and buying up all the Castaneda books they had. I promised myself I'd let it rest for now, lest I drive myself mad with wonder.
So then I arrive in Minnesota, pull into my sister's driveway and jump out of my car to a welcoming committee of family hugs and screams of joy. The smallest one, Ava, thrusts something up at me, jumping up and down, waving it wildly as if my entire existence depended on this transfer of art. I took the picture, and my sister, knowing my intense study of all things dealing with Shamanism, mumbles to me, "Gave me the chills when I saw it. Doesn't it look awfully Shamanic to you...?" I asked her if she'd ever talked to Ava about Shamanism and her reply was, of course not. She's four years old, after all. Later, we asked Ava about the fact that there are separate faces hovering next to us in her drawing (that big blue dude in the picture is my husband, Aaron). Very matter of fact, she points to my illustration and says, "That's Kristy," and then points to the hovering face next to it and says, "and that's the other Kristy. The second self." Jill asked, kind of incredulous, "The second self...?" To which Ava replies, "Everyone has a second self, Mommy. You can just see Kristy's more." Jill then asks, "Can you talk to the other Kristy?" Ava then taps her little head and says, "In my mind." Let's just say the entire kitchen was goosebumps galore. Days later, I get the book with the moth on the cover, I return home and immediately start reading it. I'm just going to say the goosebumps just keep coming. Guess what Carlos Castaneda's Tales of Power is all about. Guess what the Moth of Wisdom represents. The second self. The books says everybody has one. Shamans have the ability to control theirs, that's the only difference. It is clear to me that Ava is a tiny, undeveloped Shaman with telepathic gifts beyond anything I've seen before. She illustrated this book and then attempted to explain it. I believe she picked up what had been flooding through my mind for weeks- tapped into my second self- and in her beautiful way, tried to heal me. She tried to explain that which I could not, using not intellect or knowledge, but intuition, markers and scratch paper.
This entry is the perfect ending to Stark Raving Zen. If I had to give a concise explanation for what this blog represents, it is perfectly documented within this story and photograph of Ava. According to Carlos Castaneda, there are two selves. The Tonal- which is everything explainable, even contemplable, including abstract concepts such as God and Spirit and Divine Energy; and the Nagual- which is undefinable, unnameable, inconceivable mystery. That part of life which science will never access or explain. It's that part of everything and nothing which gives us our glow, our magic, our power. Someday, Ava will wonder why she feels different. She'll question the definition of normal. She'll struggle when society attempts to place her in that cookie-cutter mold, and fight to escape the restrictive box. She'll recognize that she doesn't fit in, but will never wish for another's identity even if life seems a little easier for others, because at four years of age Ava is already aware that there's more to life than what meets the tactile senses. Sharing the magic of Life- the Nagual- was the entire purpose of Stark Raving Zen. And now, helping people like Ava- adults and children alike- celebrate their unique gifts, their unique mysteries, is the entire purpose of my life. Thanks for reading along. Time for me to step aside for the other me. Here's to new beginnings, new blogs, new directions... and, oh yes, I love you all.