15. 3. 2021 - 23.00

In 1974 I went to Mexico to visit my brother, who was working as an anthropologist with Tzotzil Indians, the last surviving Mayan tribe

And the Tzotzil speak a lovely birdlike language and are quite tiny physically; I towered over them

Mostly, I spent my days following the women around, since my brother wasn't really allowed to do this. We got up at 3 AM, and began to separate the corn into three colors. Then we boiled it, ran to the mill and back, and finally started to make the tortillas

Now all the other women's tortillas were 360 degrees, perfectly toasted, perfectly round. And even after a lot of practice, mine were still lopsided and charred. And when they thought I wasn't looking, they threw them to the dogs

After breakfast, we spent the rest of the day down at the river, watching the goats and braiding and unbraiding each other's hair. So usually there wasn't that much to report. One day the women decided to braid my hair Tzotzil-style. After they did this I saw my reflection in a puddle
I looked ridiculous

But they said:
"Before we did this you were ugly. But now maybe you will find a husband."

I lived with them in a yurt, a thatched structure shaped like a cupcake. There's a central fireplace ringed by sleeping shelves. Sort of like a dry beaver dam
Now my Tzotzil name was Losha, which loosely translated means "the ugly one with the jewels."

Now ugly, OK, I was awfully tall by local standards, but what did they mean by the jewels?

I didn't find out what this meant until one night when I was taking my contact lenses out, and since I'd lost the case, I was carefully placing them on the sleeping shelf. Suddenly I noticed that everyone was staring at me. And I realized that none of the Tzotzil had ever seen glasses, much less contacts, and that these were the jewels. The transparent, perfectly round, jewels that I carefully hid on the shelf at night and then put - for safekeeping - into my eyes every morning

So I may have been ugly, but so what?
I had the jewels

Full fathom five thy father lies
Of his bones are coral made
Those are pearls that were his eyes
Nothing of him that doth fade
But that suffers a sea change
Into something rich and strange
And I alone am left to tell the tale
Call me Ishmael


facebook twitter rss


Prazen radio ne stoji pokonci! Podpri RŠ in omogoči produkcijo alternativnih, kritičnih in neodvisnih vsebin.


Prikaži Komentarje


Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • [[nid:123]] - Insert a node content
  • Samodejen prelom odstavkov in vrstic.
  • Spletni in e-mail naslovi bodo samodejno pretvorjeni v povezavo.

Z objavo komentarja potrjujete, da se strinjate s pravili komentiranja.