Margaret Montano:Antonio, this sounds so much like your dream and vision. Amazingly, amazing and beautiful!
Quote: Story:The Hummingbird Vision - A True Story May 29, 2016 | Written by Stevon Lucero @5/11/2016
In the summer of 1982, the Denver Art Museum put out a cartoon like sculpture by the artist Red Grooms. It was a rather large piece depicting a covered wagon with a protruding cowboy arm shooting a revolver with bullets shooting out suspended in the air. Opposite the cowboy arm was an Indian arm shooting with a bow and arrows at the cowboy. It was cute, funny, cartoony and clever. It was also offensive. At least to the Native American community. Demonstrations and complaints arose both pro and con. The odd thing to me was that if this had been the sixties, there would no doubt have been unity and mutual support of the raciest element in the piece from both the art students and the Indian community. Not this time. The art students were on the side of the institution and stood against the anti-racism factions. It got pretty nasty.
At that time my best friend was a man named Tony Shearer. This was the man who created the entire Aztec Calendar end of the World controversy that swept the world from the 1987 convergence to the Mayan end date of 2012. And yet very few are aware of this. Where Tony went magic happened. Not tricks but real magic which I will write about in due time. Tony was well known by both the students of the University of Colorado in Denver (UCD) and the Native American Community. When the demonstrations were happening, Tony was asked to talk to the group by his friend Frank Black Elk. Frank was the great grandson of the legendary Medicine Man Black Elk of Black Elk Speaks and the leader of the Native American community. He was also the leader of the demonstrations. Tony got up and made his usual remarkable speech and ended it with the outrageous statement, “If they don't remove that thing I'm going to paint it black!” That statement upset a lot of people especially the Skinheads and the Neo-Nazis. Tony started getting death threats. One time he was followed then chased in his car by Skinheads through downtown Denver. He was receiving nasty threatening phone calls. Tony started sleeping with a gun under his pillow. I never saw this normally joyous man so paranoid and I was afraid for him even though he always assured me everything would be alright.
I was still worried when Arlette and I took a little trip to her folk's cabin near Conifer on the North Fork of the South Platte River. I don't remember the exact date of this occurrence but I do know it was early summer. It was warm and sunny but my concern for Tony overshadowed my attention. After we got there we walked over to the suspension bridge not far from the cabin. We crossed over to the other side of the river and looked for a place to sit and look at the river. We found a nice spot and Arlette sat down but I was so agitated I was pacing up and down. We were in a sort of a clearing about ten to twenty yards from the trees and the river was very noisy because of the rocky section of the river. I had to talk very loud so Arlette could hear me. She was sitting there looking up at me when I looked down at her and said, “Is a rose by any other name still rose?” CONTINUE
She just looked at me blankly and said “What?”
Then I said, “Is God by any other name still but God?”
Arlette looked at me with total confusion. After a moment she said "Of course."
I went into a rant. A rant about God. I started by talking about the Medicine Wheel idea from Native America.
"We are each standing in a big circle and at the center of this circle is God. Each of us seesGod and that perception is the spoke that connects us to the center. To God. But we each see God in a different way. We each see God relative to the position we occupy on the outer rim of the wheel. We each see something slightly different from each other. The first rule of the Medicine Wheel is to respect each other's vision. We are all seeing the same God relative to our place in life. The wheel is life and each of us are a part of the same experience of being alive and that is the second rule. The third rule is that the Medicine Wheel is one and we are each a part of that one and we must respect that."
From this beginning statement I went on and on like a fire and brimstone preacher pouring out all that I knew and understood about God. I didn't understand that what was obvious to me was not obvious to others especially those who profess to have faith.
As I ranted I hadn't noticed right away that the light had changed. It got so bright like there were lights all around us making everything pale and washed out.
Arlette later said that everything all of a sudden got extremely bright and crisp with the brilliant light. The sounds of the river went down to a whisper. A trickle. Almost silent. To Arlette everything suddenly went silent even me momentarily just as it got so bright. And birds started to fill the trees all around us. Multicolored birds. It looked like a tropical rainforest. I could swear there were parrots in those trees. They became loud. Chirping and tweeting as if they were competing with each other. Arlette became especially focused on a brightly colored woodpecker which was pecking a beat to the many different sounds of the birds. My words and thoughts came out of me like a torrent. The louder I got the louder they got. I wasn't thinking but just feeling. In those moments all I could feel was my love of God.
I don't know how long I had been in this state when all of a sudden a ruby breasted hummingbird flew up on my left side and hoovered there next to my head. I looked over to it and said to Arlette, “See that hummingbird? It doesn't know what I'm saying. It doesn't know the English language or any language but it knows what I'm saying and it knows it's the truth!” Just as I said that the hummer flew around my head twice and flew off toward one the cardinal directions. (At that moment I wasn't paying attention to a detail like that.)
I continued with talking. A few minutes later a second hummingbird flew up to the same spot the first one had hovered in. I kept talking and then once again I commented that the hummer was in tune to my words. And right on cue it flew around my head twice and flew off in the opposite direction that the first one went.
I kept going without slowing down one bit. Then a few minutes passed and a third hummingbird flew up to the same position as the first two. Once again I commented about the third bird as it flew around my head. Again it went off in the third cardinal direction.
This happened one more time but this time it was not a ruby breasted hummingbird.
It was a hummingbird but not a ruby breasted one. It was in fact as I found out later, a hummingbird that simply does not exist. This bird was the size of a Robin or Blue Jay. The largest hummingbird that exists is called a Rufus. They are reddish orange in color and are a little bit larger than a ruby breasted hummer. The Rufus is a herder bird. In the fall they act as herders and herd and guide the ruby breasted hummers to migrate south for the winter. They are quite rare and this bird was not a Rufus. I've seen the Rufus and they are about half the size this bird was and have a completely different color. This bird that hovered near my head was a brown color to me but Arlette told me later that from where she was sitting she saw a gleaming golden bird.
The bird I saw was not golden but what shut me up and made me stare besides it's size was that it had an aura. Or what appeared to be an aura of some sort. It's like when you're driving a down the highway on a hot day and you can see heat waves come up from the ground like an invisible distortion. That's what I saw radiating all around the floating body of that bird. But the waves had a zig-zag edge and it had layers which pulsated like a neon sign. It pulsated from the bird's body outward about three or four layers. Over and over again like a neon signoutside a motel. My mouth dropped open and I just gawked.
Both Arlette and I just stared in awe. After a few timeless moments as if on cue, the big hummingbird flew around my head twice and flew off in the last of the four cardinal directions which I believe was north.
The reason I remember thinking it was North was that at the moment of seeing the last hummingbird, I seemed to come to my senses and observed what was happening around us. The light went back to normal as did the sound of the river. The birds left the trees and all I could hear was the ruckus sound of the splashing and tumbling water. I looked down at Arlette who was still sitting on the ground. Her eyes were round like saucers and her mouth was open. I said to her, “Did that just happen?” She nodded yes. I exclaimed “This stuff has been happening to me all my life but it always happens when I'm alone! When I tell people they just look at me and think I'm lying or just crazy! But you saw it too!” Arlette just looked at me and nodded. I helped her up and without another word we left. Later we talked about what we had experienced together.
We drove back to town and went to tell Tony and other friends what happened. At that time a famous Medicine Man from Mexico was visiting to give some lectures on Aztec spirituality. He and Tony were in conversation when we burst in to tell them of what just happened to us. After I told our story Tlacaelel (Medicine Man) told us what happened to us was a "vision". He said when a white man goes into the forest and experiences something extraordinary like a deer walking up and eating something out of his hand he thinks a deer just ate out of my hand. But if an Indian has the same experience he doesn't see a deer but a SPIRIT. He knows that it is a vision. Whenever the Great Spirit wishes to present itself it does so in forms that are familiar because we are fearful and our minds are weak. If we were to see them in their true form our disbelief would break our mind and whatever the spiritual message was would be lost.
Tlacaelel went on to say that this "vision" was from the Aztec god Huitzilopochtli. Being a Christian this didn't sit too well with me. Which he seemed to sense because he went on to explain that the Aztecs understood that there was only one God and were not true Pantheists. The multiple gods were metaphors of the different aspects or energies of the one God.
Unfortunately fundamentalist thinking afflicted the Aztecs as much as it affects the modern belief systems. He said they had a basic trilogy. Quetzalcoatl was a metaphor for creativity and intelligence. Huitzilopochtli represents the god of war or rather the will and Tezcatlipoca or Smoking Mirror was continuity of consciousness or memory. If you combine intelligence, will and memory you have being. A person. He went on to say that the vision was from Huitzilopochtli or the will of God and that I had been chosen for something. A task. I didn't understand.
What does that mean? I told him all my life different people such as weirdos and self professed psychics have been telling me that I had to some sort of destiny but they could never tell me what that meant. I was tired of it. What the hell does that mean?! Tlacaelel just looked at me with a big grin as he gently pounded his chest saying, “Faces will come out of the shadows and will reach out to you and there will be great joy!” Still smiling he turned away and left. I just stood watching him as he left wondering what the hell does that mean?
The last thing I want to say here is later on I was looking up more information on the Aztec gods and I ran across an interpretation of the name Huitzilopochtli. It means hummingbird on the left.
ON THE SET OF A NEW FILM BEING SHOT ON THE MARTIN RANCH NEAR LOCHBUIE, COLORADO. THE FILM ENTITLED “ARE YOU SURE” DEALS WITH THE PHENOMENAL USAGE OF NEGATIVE CARICATURES OF INDIGENOUS CULTURES AS MASCOTS FOR SPORTS TEAMS