Voodoo, superstition and guardian angels, premonitions'

Door San Daniel gepubliceerd in Verhalen en Poëzie

'I am a Western man, trained in the Western way of thinking. I am scientifically trained. That is not my fault. That has become my way of life. Which does not alter the fact that we, albeit with some skepticism, observe events that cannot be explained. What do you do with that, wel, you give it a place. Now in the last phase of my life I want to share some of those events with you. Because they are truthful and really the way I have experienced them with my own eyes.


Makumba or voodoo

I lived in Brasil close to Mata grosso, the start of a jungle, in a suburb called Sao Vincente. My father had been sent out for 5 years and worked at the mobil oil. They were building a refinery in Cuba toñ. It was a happy time. The weather was warm and tropical and my sister and brother went to a primary school. I stayed at home with my mother and "helped" her with her vegetable garden. God, how I loved that woman. My mother was loved by the neighboring folk as well. She bandaged people who needed that and disinfected wounds when someone came to our house with a wound. At the feast of Sao Juan, my father invited everyone and a pig was roasted on a spit, it was a good time. Then my mother got sick, seriously ill. She became bedridden, and had symptoms of paralysis. My father took her to Sao Paulo to see medical experts, but nothing helped.



Then someone from the mata grosso came with a wound and my mother couldn't dress it because she was lying sick in bed. The garden boy explained it to the Indian man, who disappeared silently the way he had arrived. A few evenings later a screeching came from our front garden. then a nagging song: salvenos, entrenos, slavenos, entrenos, save us, take possession of us, it became a pervasive incantation. We saw a glow of fire from the side garden. My father said, 'stay inside and grabbed his gun'. The garden boy said,' Señor Daniel go back inside for God's sake'. What is taking place my father wanted to know?


'The village has asked a medicine man to keep a Makumba for Donna Johanna,' he explained, ' because she is so sick. I should also like to come in, if you don't mind.' The fire lit up the side garden and we watched the going ons from a window. They were walking around the fire and the incantation became a thump, they begged a higher power to help them and to take possession of them. A few got into a trance and looked fairly possessed. a man all chalked white walked around the fire a little and threw money into the fire, and other things that we could only see the next morning when they were gone. The man was now given a black cock, pulled his head off, and sprinkled the blood left and right. Don't look anymore, my father said. So there we were, nobody could sleep until it suddenly became quiet, it was 4 o'clock in the morning. Jose, the garden boy explained that there are two types of Makumbas.



Black Makumbas to evoke a curse, and White Makumbas to help someone. This had been a white Makumba. The garden boy thanked my father for having been allowed inside and was about to leave when the bedroom door opened and my mother walked over to us. Jose crossed himself and cried aloud: Blessed is God for his good works. The doctors in Sao Paula could not explain my mother's healing.

In the morning my brother and I went to watch the still smoldering fire, it contained half burned money, a bottle of perfume, a bar of soap, a bottle of liquor. People from the Indian village had sacrificed in the fire what they could miss. My mother, lived  13 more  years, and then died, unfortunately too early, at the age of 48.

Sweet Lord, how I loved that woman. I have since understood from Indonesian family members that these are not matters to be laughed at. The effect of the "Supplication" was active until my mother went over the Equator and we went to live in Canada for my father's work. After that she was at the mercy of her health. It seems that it is also true, according to Indonesian family members that you can override a curse by crossing the equator.


My mother's dream

We were sitting around the table, it was a lazy Sunday morning and we had just had breakfast. I had that bad dream again, my mother told my father. Everyone knew what she was on about. It was a recurring nightmare that repeated itself over and over again with her. Always exactly the same. She walked a road with us and we were all very happy. Suddenly she noticed that she started limping a bit, but she was the only one who noticed.

After a while the limping took such forms that we slowly moved away from her. We finally disappeared from sight, over a hill and she felt so terribly alone. We all said that we would never walk on without her and that something like this would never happen, that we would walk slower or carry her. And I, as a very young boy, resolved that if such would ever happen, I would stay with her and I would hold her hand so that no removal could possible be between us.



My dream

I had a dream that was so strong that it gave me shock. I was young, maybe six or seven years old. Many years later, about 51 years later to be precise, I also had such a dream, which I immediately knew was serious. That dream led me to a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. Through the first dream, I recognized the second very "real" dream. It was the same feeling. Both were curiously related to the love for a woman.



I dreamed that I was pushing someone I loved in a wheelchair, I had to go up a mountain and I was looking at the woman I was pushing, she looked old and worn and I knew her, but I didn't recognize her. At the top of the mountain I came to a platform. I stood behind her with my hands on the handles, a wind began to blow that slowly but surely waxed in strength. I now recognized the woman, it was my mother. She slowly became the color of the purple that you see with red cabbage and the wind peeled her away, I was overtaken by sadness and the wheelchair was empty.

My mother's dream

My mother became ill, seriously ill, her health went out of step with ours. We could do nothing about it. When she had been so often treated with radiation and barely had a piece of lung left and suffered pain, a hellish pain and was completely overtaken by cancer, I understood her dream of 10 years before, when she had dreamt about limping. Unfortunately we have disappeared over the hill and could not take her along.

My dream

My mother ended up in a wheelchair, I often pushed her and at one point when she was 48 and I as16, she died, she couldn't win the unfair battle  She was cremated and her body became ashes. Ashes that I scattered with my father by a river, she blew away into nothingness. As symbolically had happened in my dream of 9 years before.




Well, maybe my mother had always kept doubts after the Makumba, maybe her bond with me was so strong that I unknowingly feared losing her. At least at that age I knew nothing about cremations or charred bodies. I have not been able to hold on to her forever, but there is no removal between us. My father and I each loved the same woman in our own way. After that I have always looked for partial aspects of that love. "

San Daniel 2020

14/02/2020 06:45

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