Monday, April 7, 2014

Stones, Stories and Sharing

It's taken a while for me to sort through my thoughts
and musings about our Jan/Feb trip to Ecuador and
Peru. Although we've been home almost two months,
I feel like I'm just beginning to understand the insights
it offered.  In this post I focus on our time in Peru.

About a week ago, I  awoke from a deep sleep in the
middle of the night with the words "sharing","stones"
and "stories" bouncing around in my sleepy blur. Before
we left, one of my questions had been whether I would
find quiet alone moments to soak in the spirit of
the wondrous places we would experience.  We were
going to be traveling to the Sacred Valley of Peru
including Machu Picchu with our daughter, son-in-law,
his Dad,and  our 5 and 8 year old grandkids.
What would that be like?  Well - truth is, it was a bit
chaotic at times, there were not many opportunities
for sitting alone in silence, and yes, logistics were
complicated by traveling in a group of 7. But in the
wee hours that morning, I realized, all that just
didn't matter.My favorite photos and memories from
the trip all involved shared moments...the ones that will
produce the stories for years to come. Silent moments
of soaking in spiritual essence have their place, but it's
a blessing to share adventures  across generations.

We watched our granddaughter take photos of her ragdoll, Lily, 
including ones of Lily sitting in the window at Machu Picchu, on
the Ollantaytambo Inca seat,on the steps in Cusco. (Our 
granddaughter says she is going to write a book of Lily's
adventures.) It was a  brilliant parenting move to give each of
the kids the use of their own digital camera so each could choose
what they wanted to photograph.  (Both are developing quite 
a photographer's sensibility.)

We comprehended the scale of the Incan terraces by watching our
grandkids climb up the stones from one level to the other.

We appreciated how exhausting it would be to trudge up and down
the LONG deep staircases created to help  navigate the terrain
by climbing down them oursleves..hard on the knees.

I realized Machu Picchu with the Incas in residence would have
been a place brimming with sound, people, and animals, hardly
places of quiet awe.  The stone paths  and walls certainly hold
story upon story , some passed down through oral history -
most only imagined by those walking the corridors today,
though I suspect some seep through shoes into those who tread.

 I  marvelled at the amazing craftmanship and artisanry of the
stone masons, extraordinary architectural vision, engineering
expertise and astronomical understanding involved in the Incan
 planning. Whoever carved or designed the Intihuatana at
 Machu Picchu certainly had an amazing sculptural eye.

I loved seeing the old part of Ollantaytambo which has been
inhabited since Incan days, same streets, thresholds, and
doorways ...and seeing  our grandkids walk down the streets
...and visiting a potter there

I empathized with the artisans in the market town in
Pisac, setting up  early each morn, dealing with rain,
hoping for some customers. We spent two days there
at the welcoming small Hospedaje Familiar Kitamayu

We talked  a long time to artist/jewelers, Miguel Valeriano
Lecaros and Margarita Quispe Rocca (Joyeria Miki Marga)
in Pisac They  shared with us the meaning behind the
symbols in their  work and  the philosophical core of
Quechua culture.

We heard stories from Gils, who offered up delicious
croissants and coffee (and a scrumptious piece of
chocolate cake for my hubby's birthday) at La
Boulangerie de Paris in Aguas Caliente....a rather
frontier feeling town.

And on and on and on and on... concluding with sharing
the  experience of seeing a newborn alpaca manage to
stand for  the first time in the Sucsayhuaman ruins
above Cusco.

Reflecting on the trip also clarified for me why I still hang in there
participating in fine craft shows. It's the sharing that goes on at
the shows that is important to me...sharing one's art, being
inspired by others - keeping creative energy flowing in the world.

Speaking of creative energy - This coming weekend,  I'm heading
to the  "Imagining the Fantastic II" conference  at Central Michigan
University organized by the energetic and fantastic,Ari Berk.
I'm looking forward to all the sharing that will occur among the
artists, writers, musicians and storytellers,  both presenters
and attendees -Watch for a blog post about it soon.

Adventure on!   Wendy


  1. What fantastic photos and what a fantastic family trip you had. Thanks for sharing. This reminds me of all the people in the world living in parallel time doing the business of being human in their world. Whatever the setting, the business of being human has similarities as does being an artist. I look forward to seeing how this inspires your work.

  2. Thanks your phrase "living in parallel time doing the business of being human"....everyone's job...