A Sacred Life

A Sacred Life

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Done for now...

I ended up hiding the plug in the coral and the other plug became a sign.. Billy was getting really busy with catering jobs, so I wanted to finish it up... I can just keep playing around painting forever...........

Thursday, June 26, 2008

so far............

Almost done, but I need to wrap it up. I need to accessorize her a bit more...maybe a seaweed bracelet, a waterlily in her hair (my mother's suggestion :-) and then adding a bit more more at the bottom. Now what to do with the plugs..
can you find the plug here? Still tweeking this a bit as well, but almost finished.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Photo Display...

I had the wonderful privilege of sharing my photos last evening at Igor's Masterpiece Framing. Suzanne did a wonderful job in putting this all together, our first amature photography exhibit ... a new program for the council. We held our annual meeting for the Harrison Council for the Arts, with a really nice turnout.
Recipients of the scholarships we gave to the students at the High School came, playing music and presenting a slide show of the art work created.
I had the opportunity to share some of my own photos... and was excited to talk about the Peru trip... I loved it, loved it........brought me back.
The photos will be up for about a week or two, so if you can, stop by at Masterpiece Framing on Halstead Ave. in Harrison.

How cold was it????

Besides eating a lot of carbs to stay warm, they also dance... there was a celebration of some sort when we got to the island, so there wasn't as many families there to greet us. These women were walking up the mountain... we had a bit of a hike to where we were staying for the night.

After lunch, Catalina went into a corner of the garden, sat down and started to knit. Her needles were just thin pieces of wire. We attempted to communicate which got a little frustrating I'm sure for both of us... and then I just watched a bit and smiled and then went off to take more photos.. The people here are very shy.
Soooo friggin' cold!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Amantani Island

This was our home for the night. We arrived in time for lunch, which consisted of soup with potatoes in it, potatoes - a few varieties in a bowl - and small fried fish... very tasty actually.
And I do love potatoes...
Our room held three beds, a table, and a small pot under it.
No electricity. No indoor plumbing. No heat. Actually, one room had electricity and ours wasn't it.

Downstairs and outside from our room was the kitchen. A table that held 6 people comfortably. The 6 included myself, Mai-Liis, Silvia, two guys from Japan and one guy from Switzerland. Catalina, our house mother cooked for us here, on the floor, inside the small room that had no ventilation except one small window. She and her husband sat on the floor eating... hey, they were closer to the heat...

Dinner was soup, a dish of potatoes, rice and pasta which has some lima beans in there. Our discussion explained that a high carb diet helped to keep them warm. With our meals, there was always coca tea and another herb I forgot the name of. Both used for the altitude.

Breakfast was fried bread, corn on the cob.

here is our house father bringing hats for the cold evening.

The bathroom, downstairs and through the garden - did I say no electricity... no heat... no plumbing... I used the pot under the table!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Uros Islands

Sylvia, our guide is peeling back the totoro reed. This bottom part is what is eaten. Rich in calcium. Not bad.
we were being shown how the islands are built, how the reeds are wrapped, layered, etc. Pretty cute. These ladies were so cut and friendly.
and of course tried to sell you everything. I loved how colorful everything was. I made the mistake of not having enough solas. I did buy some things and a tiny little reed boat with a man and woman in it from a little boy.
It's all about color!!!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Boat Ride

I have a fear of water. Last year when I asked my sister if it was worth going to Lake Titicaca, she pretty much said no. I was ok with that, because I knew if I went I'd have to get into a boat.
After returning from last year's trip, my reading about the lake and it's spiritual aspect made me want to go. Face your fears :-)

We were in a boat with about 18 people or there abouts. Not so bad. I was ok with it. Here we are approaching the Uros islands which are made from Totoro reeds. They are the floating islands... yes, they actually float.. They repeatedly layer on the reeds.
Met by greeters. Very colorfully dressed women. They are prepared for visitors - ready to sell their handicrafts.
Home sweet home.. No kidding, there is a tv in here. They use solar panels for their electricity. They seemed to be very proud of this tv.... Mai-Liis and I had a different view on this. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! And this began a discussion on books. Get rid of the tv!

Saturday, June 07, 2008

A chance meeting :-)

Before going to Peru, we tried to set up something where we could meet up with Jorge Delgado. The trip he was involved with was beyond our money spending intentions. He was actually going to be there at the same time though and we thought, just maybe we could hook up with him at some point... no dice.

Except the Universe obviously had other plans....

Our guide that we were originally going to have with us was replaced by Silvia who just so happened to work with Jorge Delgado. During a conversation while driving to the "doorway", Silvia called him to try to get a meeting together. It was possible he would come to Sillustani in the afternoon. We were excited about this.

Unfortunately, it didn't happen.

After coming back from this adventure, we went to the hotel and got ready for dinner. On the way to the restaurant, we stopped in a small shop to have a look and as I walked out, I literally almost ran into Silvia! One of those moments when the brain is saying, Hey don't I know you and POP! recognition... Silvia came looking for us... and what was the probability of finding us on those busy streets and many, many restaurants..... but she did. Jorge had called her to say he could meet with us. She called our hotel and obviously we weren't there and she set out to find us :-)

I really like Silvia.......

We hopped in a cab and off we went to meet Jorge Delgado in his office in Puno.

He is the author of Andean Awakenings and is the one who motivated me to want to go back to Peru. I knew I wasn't finished.

He is a warm, friendly man. We chatted, took pictures. He remembered Susan who took his workshop and gave me a special stone. One for throwing into Lake Titicaca. I was to put my intentions into the stone... which was healing for John... and that is what I did :-)
(notice the layers of clothing...it sure was cold there)

Friday, June 06, 2008

Still Sillustani

LLama at Sillustani.
Guinea pig. Silvia talked about using them as a tool of healing. They would tell the healer what ailments the sick person had by opening up the guinea pig and "reading" the inside. She told of a story about a woman with a tumor and how the lump showed up in the guinea pig.
This is a wild guinea pig.
Guinea pigs are eaten in Peru. Nope. Didn't try one.
A woman here with probably her daughter and her llamas at Sillustani. No slouchers these women... they work hard.

Thursday, June 05, 2008


Sillustani is known as the ancient cemetery of the pre-Incans and Incans. These are chullupas where bodies are buried - the larger ones for the elite. Nobility were entombed with their family and possessions... which made me think of Egyptians. These towers were wider at the top, opening up to the sky, unlike pyramids.

Sillustani is also considered to be a power place like Machu Picchu. Not sure if it was the overcast day, but I didn't feel it here as I do in Machu Picchu. Although it was pretty cool (and cold) being there. Silvia picked up a stone and you could see the remains of a skull. It feels mysterious here...

Tuesday, June 03, 2008


Give yourself the gift of 20 minutes and listen to this.......

Monday, June 02, 2008

Mai-Liis' Tag Book Project

Come Play with Me!
I (Mai-Liis) will be teaching it through my website.
Start date: June 11, 2008, when you receive the materials list complete with substitutions which...chances are good you already own, torso outlines, and all the instructions.
I will be online with students for 3 weeks to make sure that everyone has the help that they need, but you can do this project whenever you have the time.
The tags are placed into the book with brads, and therefore can easily be removed and used for other purposes such as gift tags, or book marks.
Price: $25
To sign up, PayPal to
This is a fun mixed media project for artists and non-artists alike.

Check out her website for some more yummy art... dolls, shrines or in case you need more info

Hope to see you there :-)

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Aramu Muru's doorway

This is Silvia. She is a healer and coca leaf reader. Coca leaves are considered sacred in Peru. Used more than just for altitude sickness, they bring stamina to the body, but they more importantly are used for blessings. Here she is putting together a despacho, an offering. We gathered leaves in groups of three and asked our intentions.. our wishes..
It was after reading Jorge Delgado's book, Andean Awakenings, that I knew I had to go back to Peru and come to this area.
One of the legends according to Delgado, is that the golden disc of the Inkas, the one that was in Koricancha, was taken here. It is said that Aramu Muru left this reality through this doorway and the disc with him. Other readings I have read said the disc was in Lake Titicaca.

My offering that I may be accepted here. The people of Peru have a lot of respect for the earth and spirit, not taking anything for granted or at least not having the arrogance we tend to have here in the states, thinking we can do what ever we want - feeling we are entitled to things and therefore tend to abuse the land. This is what I love here - the respect they have for Pachamama. "Please accept my offering" and all the intentions I have.

There is a little niche in the stone where I am placing my forehead. I think I was too much in my head... over thinking as is usual the case for me. Too caught up in if I were doing it "right". But I prayed.... I did a lot of praying here in Peru.

We burned our despacho, our offering. I was gratefu to be here and always asked for healings for John. It was good to have Silvia here with us. I was grateful for her. I was grateful for so very much. This is where my energy was focused.

After our ceremony, I climbed up. It was our quiet time for ourselves to go within. My climb came to a point where I stopped because I thought my heart would beat out of my chest. Hard climbing at this elevation. I sat and pondered, took some pictures. I watched two black and white birds fly together and thought immediately of my dream again. Here again is the landscape of the dream.

Below me, I realized Mai-Liis was sitting and laughed to myself. In my dream, I looked below and saw my mother's house. What is the connection between us? I entertained the thought that she may have been my mother in a past life. Hey, who knows. I sat listening to my inner voice. Repeatedly the message was to be... just be. So many times in life, I feel as if I need to have all the answers, am I on the right path? what is my purpose? who am I and why the heck am I here?????
Maybe it is to be... just be.