*** Eighth in a Series ***
Max LeMonk, the monkey puppet, and I wandered away callused and bruised from testing our rock climbing skills at the Towers of Uncertainty in Joshua Tree National Park. “Let’s climb and see that warblers, you say,” Max shouted at me as he picked his thick matted ape-hair out of a freshly scabbed-over elbow wound. “Towers of Uncertainty is just a name, you say.”
I admitted the climb was ill-advised for novices such as us. “I thought the nagual would approve,” I explained to Max. “I thought perhaps we would find certainty.”
Max just rolled his eyes. “Remind me next time to bring some aloe,” Max said. “And an extra pound of brains. One of us might need it.”
My bruises were even more severe than Max’s, but I keep it to myself. Max never likes to be reminded that he’s just a puppet, and I respect his feelings about that. Having taken several tumbles into rock and various flora, I was feeling partly like ground meat and somewhat like a pin cushion.
Then, I felt a searing sting in my shoulder, not like I had been stabbed but that a knive had been pulled out. When I turned, don Rey Ortega was standing behind me with dagger-like spine from a Joshua Tree, freshly extracted from my flesh.
“Wow,” Max said. “Now he’s added surgeon to the list of stuff his isn’t really.”
Don Rey just smiled, and inexplicably tossed dirt onto Max’s shoes. And behind don Rey we saw a glow that was both mysterious and familiar. A grove a Joshua Trees were twinkling with Christmas lights and ornaments. And we suddenly recognized that don Rey was wearing a red Santa hat. A real nice one, too.
“Don Rey,” I said with surprise. “Your mysteries confound me. You believe in Santa? And it’s only June… and it’s the desert…"
Don Rey waved his hand, and it seemed the sun set as it passed my face, leaving the desert glowing with Christmas lights.
I learned from my old desert tortoise friend Speedy over there, to start getting ready for Christmas early."Oh, great Jupiter's goat," Max erupted. “Now my life is in the hands of the wisdom of a turtle via a nutball old man?” Don Rey grinned as Speedy lumbered towards us and appeared to speak, thought there wsa a slight warble in don Rey’s Adam’s apple. Speedy said:
No more time to monkey around. Why don't you both go lay down right there and make some sand angels. And by the way, I'm a tortoise, not a turtle.Don Rey looked admiringly at Speedy and said:
He moves slow but his mind works fast. You should watch him play tennis.After mumbling the word “farce” several times, Max decided to play along. He asked Speedy as he gestured to don Rey, “So how do you know old Wild Wise Guy?” Don Rey cocked his head, and Speedy looked up.
That crusty and dusty little fella has one of the deepest minds I know. We both live in this same desert, but time and space for each of us is different.Max was impressed with what he believed was the old man's ventriloquism, and tried to make peace with don Rey. He handed the nagual his canteen, and don Rey tipped it back. As he drank, Speedy added:
Even though he lives in a little hole dug into the side of a sandy wash many miles from here, it doesn't matter where we decide to meet, he's always on time.I stood confused. This was obviously a magical creature. A nagual of the animal world. I asked why this miracle creature had joined us. Don Rey picked up an ornament, went to a tree, and said:
This year he's in charge of hanging up lights and ornaments on the Joshua tree.When Max asked, "then why are you doing all the work?" Don Rey dropped an ornament, and it shattered on a rock. We looked down at the glass, and then up to discover don Rey and Speedy had disappeared.
All the ornaments had turned into the shape of tortoises. I smiled, nodded, and began to hum Winter Wonderland with Max.
And the stars twinkled.
Rey Ortega is staying in the states, where internet speeds will keep him contibuting the voice of don Rey. His website, reyortegaentertainment.com, gives you a good "pre-wow" to the "wow" you'd have seeing his act in person.
As I've re-designed this blog, I've added a page with links to the entire Mystic Moment series. Creating the page gave me a chance to re-read these puppies. So I do need to tell you - no, I'm not experimenting with any drug ... except ventriloquism.
That's a great high.
Go back and read them from the beginning. They will lead you to some kind of new enlightment. Guaranteed. You bet'ya.