God’s Eye Gives Back
God’s Eyes. Maybe you made them at summer camp or at kindergarten, or, if you were really lucky, in my Jan Term class (cotaught with Malia Timmerman) at Hampshire College. A simple craft made of popsicle sticks and yarn, God’s Eyes adorn rearview mirrors, hang from headboards and linger, dustily, in boxes of childhood memories. But did you know that the God’s Eye is actually “a ritual tool, magical object, and cultural symbol”? It is also called Sikuli by the Huichul Indians of Jalisco, which means “the power to see and understand things unkown.”
After I disappeared in the KtB stacks, I went on a little sojourn upon which I will report later. (I traveled back in time —before my birth!—to 1969 to attend the greatest Episcopal service of all time, so get ready for that!) I’ve also been busy making God’s Eyes as party favors for the upcoming Killing the Buddha Tin Anniversary Spectacular. One day, one of them began to speak to me and gave me quite an earful, which led to this photo journey. In case you were wondering, yes, I can speak to ghosts, spirits and inanimate objects. It’s called being Irish.
The God’s Eye, who said I could call him “Ojo,” but never “Ojito,” wanted to clear up some misconceptions about God’s Eyes, and to that end, had enrolled in a secret scientific experiment being conducted upon “him” and others in his community. “I actually have no gender,” he said. “But that’s the traditional. But, please know, I understand your struggles, ladies, I understand.”
Other enrollees in the study he could not name specifically but referred to as “the Sippy Cup,” “the Splinter,” “the Pet Rock,” “the Silver Spork,” and “that Stupid Boat.” Ojo invited me to come along with him as he delved into human medicine.
MARY: What’s the purpose of the study? Why are they using medical technology on magical or mythical objects?
OJO: Who the crap knows. They’re trying to see if they can measure the magic and use it for humans. The answer is no. But they didn’t ask me. That fucking Sippy Cup was all “Great idea! Human/sacred object cooperation could open up a new era of collaboration moving forward!”
MARY: Oh, so they’re trying to measure—
OJO: Do you know why the never ask me?
OJO: Because I see all! Also, they think: God’s Eye, you’re just a craft. Something children make! I am not! In fact, because there are so many of me, do you know what I am?
OJO: Exactamente. Not just some stupid splinter that could be from any dumbass tree.
MARY: Shhh, it’s OK, Ojo. I know your magic. Looks like you need to scan here.
OJO: Ehn! I do not need to scan! I am the EYE OF GOD!
MARY: Let me help you. I have fingers.
OJO: I can see that!
OJO: Take a seat, get comfy, as you say. This could take a while. Say, that’s a really nice wig you got.
MARY: This is my actual hair.
OJO: Oh. Time to catch up on the sports!
A while later.
OJO: First, the blood draw.
MARY: How are they going to get blood out of you?
OJO: Just watch. Robert Gray has the master’s touch.
MARY: I can’t believe what I am seeing.
MARY: All that came from you?
OJO: Standard research draw. It is, as you say, no big. Time to make the rounds!
First stop: CT Scan. It measures your soft tissue.
MARY: Or yarn?
OJO: Don’t be smart. This wasn’t my idea.
Second Stop: Nuclear Medicine for dosing with radioactive isotopes.
OJO: The container the isotopes come in is called a lead pig. Does that not make you laugh?
MARY: It’s sort of funny. But a little upsetting.
OJO: OK, gotta give these babies some time to get into my sticks. Let’s go do the echocardiogram—
MARY: But you have no heart.
OJO: The questions! The questions! Here we go!
MARY: I remember having a sonogram done when I was pregnant. That’s sorta like this.
OJO. Yes. I remember that too.
MARY AND OJO TOGETHER: You/I see everything.
OJO: Looks like we have a lee-tle more time before the bone scan. Let’s go visit some friends of mine.
OJO: Hello, Big-Ass Statue of Jesus!
MARY: Shhh, Ojo. People might hear you.
OJO: No one hears me except for you, my dear. Everyone thinks you’re talking to a piece of craft. Besides, Jesus likes this statue. He thinks it makes him look manly.
MARY: Have you ever seen the show Making Fiends?
OJO: What do you think?
MARY: Right. Anyway, does anyone ever tell you you talk a bit like Vendetta?
OJO: Yes. That, and Ricardo Montalban.
MARY: Ohhh yes.
OJO: I love this guy!
MARY: I’ve got to tell you, I’ve encountered his ghost a few times and he’s been a little, verging on, fresh with me.
OJO: That’s ol’ Hoppy for ya. This guy really knew how to Find the Light in anyone if you know what I mean!
MARY: Regrettably, I think I do.
GHOST OF JOHNS HOPKINS: Good Mary, to what do I owe the pleasure of gazing upon thy fair countenance this lovely Second-Day morn? Come a little closer, dear, I want to whisper something in thy—
MARY: I think it’s time for your bone scan, Ojo.
GHOST OF JOHNS HOPKINS: Fare thee well, O fairest Friend! And you too, Ojito!
OJO: This is going to take about 45 minutes, so you can wait in the waiting room.
MARY: But you’re so tiny, why?
OJO: It’s all about protocols.
GHOSTLY VOICE: I shall keep you company, dearest Mary!
MARY: (rolls eyes) I’ll wait right here.
MARY: Thanks for letting me accompany you, Ojo.
OJO: Thank you, dear. Now remember. You have the power to make God’s Eyes. Don’t forget we are magical and we see all.
MARY: Can I ask you a question, in that case, Ojo? Something the doctors haven’t been able to tell me?
OJO: I’m listening.
MARY: Is my cancer going to return?
MARY: Ojo? Ojo de Dios????? He’s nowhere to be found!
GHOST OF JOHNS HOPKINS: Thou hadst a question, fairest one?
MARY: No, just trying to validate my parking ticket, thanks.
Come to the KtB Tin Anniversary Gala and get one of Mary’s Magical God’s Eyes—if you’re lucky!
Mary Valle lives in Baltimore and is the author of Cancer Doesn't Give a Shit About Your Stupid Attitude: Reflections on Cancer and Catholicism. She blogs on KtB as The Communicant. For more Mary, check out her blog or follow her on Twitter.