“Me and my mom traveled together for nine months. Then I was born . . .”
Those words, spoken by an elderly Pueblo Indian as he introduced his life story, suggest an intimacy that lies at the core of unconditional love. He was speaking on a video being shown at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque, a fascinating museum/community center that celebrates the nineteen Pueblo nations in New Mexico, from the Zuni in the west to the Taos in the north. I can’t get enough of the American Southwest, particularly the high desert areas of New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, and Utah, always returning from a visit there with a clear head and a renewed spirit.
What was that Pueblo Indian communicating with those words? Although I can’t speak for him, I sense a deep intimacy with his mother, one that began in the womb as they “traveled together for nine months” and has continued throughout his life. He was quite elderly in the video; no doubt his mother is deceased. Yet today it might be said that he carries her in his own womb, in his own sacred place, his heart.
It is not good to travel through life alone. One needs an intimate partner–a parent or child, a spouse, a best friend, a soul mate. Our experience of intimacy starts in the womb, continues throughout our lives, and ends . . . well, we don’t really know where and if it ends. We don’t really know what level of intimacy awaits us beyond the grave. Whose womb will we be traveling in then?