Monday, 20 February 2012

13 grandmothers and one ex-hog farmer

At sunset drum circle, while sipping water in a pause in the wild orgiastic dancing to the beating of many djimbes, darbukas, bendirs, and other percussion instruments, my friend Joke from Sweden (pronounced Yoka) asked me if I'd like to join her for a showing of a film about the "13 Grandmothers."

"I met one woman this afternoon and she invited me to her home to see this film.  You know about the 13 grandmothers?  You know, these healers who came together to try and save the earth," she asked me.

I had heard of them.  Going to someone's home in the fields behind the sea to watch a film about these 13 grandmothers seemed like it could be an interesting adventure, and so I agreed.

Joke guided me off the beach, back through some lane, across a field, along a narrow path between two stone walls, past a five-foot high white, wooden cross to some woman's home.

"Hi.  Welcome," said the woman of the home with a slight French accent peppering her English.  "My name's Gypsy."

Gypsy, a woman in her late sixties with piercing light brown eyes, had a short tie-dyed yellow and white fringed sarong wrapped around her waist and wore a rainbow-colored, loose knitted pull-over.

"This is my son, Neptune," she said and a lovely young man with blond hair and blue eyes shook hands with us.

The usual "where are you from?" back and forth parlay ensued.

Gypsy had been born in France.  "I spent a lot of time in the U.S., though,"she said.  "Mostly north of San Francisco."

"Where exactly," I asked.

"You know Laytonville?"

The town of Laytonville and the name "Gypsy" stirred some foggy past images.

"Yeah," she said.  "I used to live on the Hog Farm with Wavy Gravy," she added.

I leapt to my feet and threw my arms around her.

She was part of what is the longest-running continuing commune in the world, started and run by activist/clown Wavy Gravy who was involved with the organization of Woodstock and other concerts.  My old friend Marion the fruitarian was involved with them and when Gypsy gave me her card for her ethnic clothes shop in Laytonvillle I suddenly had a vivid recollection of stopping there on one of my peregrinations through the area North of San Francisco.

We watched the film about the 13 grandmothers on Neptune's computer.  It's an amazing account of the 13 healing women who came together and shared their visions and dreams.

Ah yes, another night in India.  

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