Creative Writing / Ecuador

Juan the Shaman

Inspired by Juan the shaman, who I met in Quito, Ecuador; and by the lovely writing of Louis de Bernieres.

—————————————————–

At five foot ten, Juan the shaman was unusually tall for an Aymara indian. He lived alone in the forest under the dense canopy of a mahogany tree, alongside the jawbones of his long-dead ancestors.

He was graceful and slim, and could stay in a trance for days without eating or moving from his hammock. He spoke so deliberately that everyone believed his words; and remained so poised that the glossy black hair pouring down his back never rippled.

On his feet, splayed from a lifetime walking barefoot, he wore sandals made from old car tyres; in his hand was a willow branch, the tool of his trade; and he circled it in the smoke that rose from the dying fire – protecting us against the evil eye, against the snakes, against the spirits.

He bent down to read what was written in the embers.

burning embers of the shaman

Photo by mikemol, via Creative Commons

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s