Perfect in Imperfection
A shaman’s Mesa is a portal to the spirit world. It is a place to ground and keep totems that bring back the energy and vibration of a moment or experience. In 2015, I had the privilege of going on Don Howard’s Final Chavín Pilgrimage. Some of the artifacts on my Mesa were from that trip, including the Chavín Jaguar statue. That’s right, I joined a Jaguar cult. Leslie, a spirit sister of mine had acquired the twin to my statue on that trip.
We explored the labyrinth in the temple at Chavín de Huántar, and had a powerful experience at the Lanzón. Afterwards, I acquired a small Lanzón from a shaman’s workshop on that trip. I checked it in a suitcase on my flight home, and it broke in half during transit. I superglued it when I got home, and it sat on my mesa, but the imperfection always bothered me. At some point, when I was going through a major house cleaning, the imperfection bothered me enough that I threw it away. I regretted it pretty much immediately.
I spend a significant part of my time working in the backyard. My Jaguar found a home in the backyard, accompanying me during work sessions, a totem of the Chavin spirit.
A few years later, I sat in ceremony again with a shaman from Cusco. Leslie and I had both brought our twin statues. Hers was spotless and shiny, and mine was covered with dirt, and weathered from the sun and elements. As the Medicine kicked in, I looked at it and saw a reflection where I treated myself recklessly. I had lots of adventures, injuries, and scars, physical and emotional. Life had been a rollercoaster, and it was reflected in the weathered Jaguar statue.
A young woman approached me, and I shared that reflection with her. She told me, “I think it’s beautiful.” All the imperfections, all the weather, elements, travels, this Jaguar has lived. Salma is a dear friend to this day.
Flash forward to yesterday, I received a package in the mail yesterday. It was a gift from my friend Parker. Much love, brother. There were two stone Jaguar heads, and… a broken Lanzón. Perfect in its imperfection.
This time, I’m going to do what I wish I did with my first Lanzón that I had sadly discarded. Kintsugi (金継ぎ) is a Japanese art of repairing broken pottery by mending the cracks with golden lacquer mixed with powdered gold. Kintsugi means “golden repair” and is also a metaphor for embracing our scars and imperfections. Old scars are part of a precious history that must be preserved, treasured, and appreciated. Totems of personal growth and reminders of staying present in the moment.
Day 9: Japanese Friendship Garden #GivingChristmas