Earlier in the year someone broke into the house and stole a few small items. Small, but they were items of comfort – like a pair of binoculars that I used on a daily basis. Because he had stolen a hand saw I had carelessly left in the yard, I suspected that the burglar was the fisherman who lives downriver…
I also thought that I might find the saw later beneath some leaves or misplaced in the house or gardens. At the time there was no fence around the house, and I should have been more careful about leaving the saw outside where I had been working.
When I pondered his basic life and lack of proper shelter, I reacted (after adjusting to the loss) with compassion instead of anger. I realized how lucky I am to have been born into a loving family, to have been raised with a loose rein, with the freedom to grow up with a proper education balanced with an immersion in nature. How might I have evolved if I had no proper roof over my head or a formal education and the best shoes I owned were a mismatched set of rubber boots?
Instead of being angry, I decided to approach him through mischievous and creative ways.
With the help of friends, I placed a sign on the riverbank and stated that I knew who had stolen my saw and that the duendes (trolls) were going to be protecting me. Taped to the door is a sign that says that anyone who steals will be affected by a shaman’s curse. Guarding the door is a small little papier mache ‘man’ with sticks and feathers and a wedge of burned incense. (More about the incense below) Inside the house is a note on the steps that demands, “Return my things, bad person!”
When I see him on the river, I burn an aromatic wood called Palo Santo (Holy Stick) and play the shaman’s drumming music! I have painted little eyes on the driftwood throughout the yard and house, and this past week a great big pictorial message greets anyone who looks at the gate.
Do you think this will deter a future thief?! I am sure most that pass by will say, “She’s gone a little bit too crazy…” Reflecting on that I think of this song which marries the ‘watching” theme with my life here on the river.
Many people have visited the house; most say that they admire the life that I have and wish they could simplify as well. Some say that I have inspired them. Some just look, absorb the essence of the floors, the birds, the total immersion in nature, and they smile.
But back to the gate, the eyes, and the theme of the watchful eyes; my Ecuadorian friends chuckle at the messages. One suggested placing a real human bone over the door and no one would dare cross that protected area. But where would one obtain a human bone?!
Do you have any suggestions to make a thief think twice before trespassing?
Do you know of more ‘Watching You” or “Eye” songs? If so, add the youtube link to your comment. This one seems appropriate:
as well as this:
I am writing this from town and am about to retrieve some little pieces of mirror to glue to the tiny eyes on the gate. I will be be home without reliable internet but will be back in town on Monday. I look forward to reading your suggestions!
Z – (Oops, I meant ‘Suzanne’)