Feb. 9, 2013 (1)

Feb. 8

Everything is theoretical until the last-minute when I approach it as factual, logical reality. At that point, I attempt the process of making my “dreams” real.

My world: step one, I create, I fantasize, I dream; step two, I make these creations, fantasies and dreams material and/or physical. I attempt to make them happen, make them work, make them real (REAL-izing them).

In numerology, the magical number eleven is the number of the Visionary. (This is my step one. I envision things.) The equally magical number twenty-two is the number of the Mage or Magician who brings it down to earth. We can’t spiritualise the material/physical world (it’s always just matter/physical), but we can materialize the spirit. Spirit can be apprehended by the physical senses. And that’s what the Magician tries to do: make the spiritual world visible (or auditory or psychically present to us). See more about The Magician in the tarot cards in my Feb. 10, 2013 post.

The Kuna go to Panama City for several reasons: education, shopping, working. Most Kuna don’t have good educations so they work at menial jobs (restaurants, janitorial, etc.). Some Kuna (like Ivan, my driver) have good educations, and they become teachers (who are underpaid here), lawyers, doctors, etc.

I feel that the Kuna Yala people are into body-mind wisdom:  the experience and feelings of the body, of the senses (including the psychic sense), are what is really important. Our Western culture stresses knowledge. We really discount the wisdom of our bodies and minds. Though we SEEM to champion and celebrate the physical, we are actually very out of touch with our bodies. Our minds… I don’t know how we deal with this. Both Kuna Yala wisdom and Western knowledge are good, and they work together. See my stuff in the Feb. 10 post for more on this:, specifically on Capra’s book The Tao Of Physics.

If I assume nothing and just let the truth seep into me slowly, little by little, I learn a lot.


Ivan told me he doesn’t like the reggae lyrics; in translation to Spanish, at least, he said, they talk about sex and robbery and other bad things.

On the streets in downtown Panama City,  women are giving manicures, and doing hair in fancy, braided styles. Carnival starts today. The traffic was tremendously thick downtown, and my CS hosts, Leslie and Seth, and I had a terrible time finding a cab to take us home.

The road on the Kuna Yala land is closed every night from 6 pm to 7 am because Colombians were using it to run drugs. And today, the road was closed in the morning because some people (both poor and rich) were starting to build houses on Kuna land. The police came and kicked them out. These people retaliated by closing the road; today the police returned and kicked them out again.


In Capurgana, armed policemen are all over town. I met one named Andres Taborda. He’s a young man from Medellin (pronounced “Med-a- JEANNE”) whose brother is also a policeman. He loves Capurgana (pronounced “Ca-PUR-na-GA”), and he plans to stay there. (It is an amazing place: the power goes off at night; no cars; people leave their doors and windows open in the evenings and anyone walking by can look in.) He works 8 hours a day, every day of the week. After a year, he will get one month of vacation. We are now friends on Facebook.

With the help of a local guy, I found a room for $15 in a home behind the beachfront hostel and bar. I had mosquito netting over my bed (which I love). I could have been in a hostel dorm room for less money, but I liked the family home. It was all totally open to the outdoors. Huge toads were wandering around. There were two little tents in the yard (for family or guests?). The toilet was out in the yard in a room with a tub full of constantly flowing water. You dip a bowl into this tub and pour it over yourself to shower.

I am an artist. My art is travel. I also write.

For me, life isn’t about finding beautiful places. It’s about traveling. Period. The journey is what is #1. The idea is for me and my people (travellers, gypsies, nomads) to travel. To never settle down permanently. To never stop travelling. This is easy because some people will always travel. We love to travel, to move. That’s the life!


In the Kuna Yala village of Carti, Panama, I stayed in a house with a grandmother and three little children. They slept in hammocks. When I left early the next morning, a young man was in one of the hammocks.

We peed in a room outside in the middle of a bunch of houses. It had a dirt floor with lots of stones in the place where we peed. Next to that are a bunch of big white pails filled with water. To shower, you take a dipper (bowl) of water from a pail, and, standing in the same place where you pee, pour it all over yourself. You poop in another building which I never saw (I’ve been constipated for a few days).


Feb. 9

I realize that when I’m staying in people’s houses and travelling a lot, I need to have control over my life. Many Couchsurfing hosts are fine with this, but some demand compliance with their rules (you must cook, you must sit down to eat when we want, you must share food, etc.). I am not going along with these arbitrary dictates anymore.

As of today, I am going to assert myself more when Couchsurfing. I am going to eat my own food when I want to eat it. This is my right, and I am going to assert it. I am going to do this quietly and without drama. I’ll store my food in the fridge (if necessary) in a closed up bag. If people take it, so be it. I won’t make a big issue of it, but I’ll let people know that I’m eating my own food and not sharing food (when I choose to do this).

Food is a huge area for me. I have certain needs and requirements (eg. lots of fresh, raw foods), and I am going to take better care of myself from now on by respecting my own needs.

Food is also an excellent area in which to assert my freedom and independence. The matter of food comes with lots of baggage: memories, identity issues, pleasure, beliefs, fears, and so on. It’s a good “place” for me to say: “My compliance with others’ needs and desires stops here. I alone decide when, where, and what I eat.”


The Kuna Yala fought a battle for freedom in 1925, presumably with the Panamanians (or was it with the Spanish?). Every year they celebrate this victory. Their flag is a swastika (going the opposite way from the Nazi swastika) on a red and yellow background. All the drivers carrying Kuna people and tourists to Panama City have one or two flags in their windshield area. (There is another Kuna Yala flag, too, but I don’t know what it is.)

The swastika is a symbol of the octopus for the Kuna Yala people. “The octopus was there at the beginning of the world,” Ivan told me. The four arms are four places in the spirit world that have special meaning for the Kuna. (I don’t know what these places are.)

The Kuna are changing their name to Guna. It’s catching on slowly. It’s closer to the way they pronounce it.

Ivan told me that the only way groups of workers like teachers can get a pay raise in Panama is by staging demonstrations. He also told me that 20% of Panamanians are very wealthy and 80% are poor.

The Kuna language has been influenced by American English. Ivan told me that the current generation’s grandparents worked on American military bases in Panama and brought many English words home with them every day; these words have become part of their unique (not at all Spanish) language.


I think I have outgrown lust. I realize that I never wanted men for sex. I wanted to give and receive love. Yes, sex was good, often very good! A real pleasure. But it was never the real reason I sought out men. I thought it was; I thought I regarded them as sex objects. But, no, it was always something deeper. The real meaning of my quest (my desire for men) was hidden behind the obvious, superficial meaning. Lust was a socially acceptable (that in itself is funny) reason for chasing men (or letting them catch me). Lust is one of the “Seven Deadly Sins.” I’m glad to not be a prisoner of lust anymore.

I am eagerly awaiting another dream where I am conscious of flying. So exciting! In my recent dream about flying, I could also run really fast. I think that’s how I took off flying.

When I was a kid, I was one always one of the fastest (girl) runners at my schools. Only Nancy Brown could beat me. That’s funny because later in life, I found out that my birth-father’s given name was Brown [from Grandma Beth Boswell’s maiden name], and, like Nancy’s father, he was a medical doctor.

Some of these things only have relevance and interest to the individual involved, like me. They are synchronistic and meaningful, personally.  To other people, these little interesting vignettes are trifles and vastly insignificant.


Ibelele lived from 1930-2010, and ha painting of his face is on a big banner hanging in the Kuna Yala restaurant where the cars were that took us to Panama City.


The Reverend Ibelele (Juan Jose Davis), first priest from the Kuna, died in the capital city on April 5, 2010 at the age of 91. He was a native of the community Sugdup Gardi, Kuna Yala. Thanks to the efforts of the Franciscan Sisters of Mary Immaculate Mothers and Sons Congregation of Missionaries of the Heart of Mary, was able to continue and complete their studies for the priesthood. He studied in Los Angeles California, Spain, Germany and Colombia. Exercise their religious duties in Columbus and in some communities of Kuna Yala. In addition, teaching exercise and was one of the first teachers who took the College Esteban Felix Oller (FEO) of Nargana, first secondary school established in the region of Kuna Yala, founded in 1956. Many professionals of the region have passed through its classrooms. Honor Teacher.

(from KUNA YALA DIGITAL: http://titoperezquintero.blogspot.com/2010/04/reverendo-ibelele-juan-jose-davies.html)


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