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Peru

Day #14: La Montaña que Canta, Part I

He holds up three leaves, the green teardrops overlapping like a fan between his thumb and index finger. The first one, he explains, is for that which is outside, the transcendental. The second, sandwiched in the middle, is the surface, the present moment. The last leaf represents that which is inside of everything. The condor, the puma, and the serpent, respectively, are tied to each of these layers, and kintu brings them all together. He tells us we should invoke an entity or energy, for example pachamama, and focus on what it is we are asking.

Day #7: El Fabricante

We entered the workshop through an average door on a residential street, emerging into a long garage-shaft with a ceiling but no rear wall. It almost never rains here, and the cold never exceeds a pervasive, damp chill. The greyish late-afternoon sunlight that is typical of Lima winters filtered in through that opening, reflecting off of instruments completed and not yet begun, everything in between, and the tools and the man that facilitate their metamorphosis. Sawdust marked its choreography in the air, alive with our movement. Luis was wearing a jeans jacket and pants to match, both discolored with embedded signs of woodwork and age. The pants hung loosely over his boney frame and he walked toward us with a deliberate stumble. His glasses were missing one arm and leaned crookedly across his nose, but his smile was warm as we kissed our greeting.

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