Pilgrimage to Punta de Vacas

This May I flew to Santiago, Chile to go with friends up to Punta de Vacas Park of Study and Reflection, almost 10,000 feet up in the Andes between Argentina and Chile. Celebrations were taking place all over the world for the 50thAnniversary of Silo’s talk on the “Healing of Suffering,” and I could have stayed closer to home, but it was time for me to go to Punta de Vacas. I hadn’t been there in almost ten years, since Jorge died, just before the culmination of the World March. This time I would be traveling alone, and I was thrilled and not a little nervous.

Waiting for my connection at the Houston International Airport, I thought about how other people see me, and how I see myself…


Self Portrait

On the outside

this is what

I imagine

you might see

as me:

An older woman

with an ingenuous smile

who often does things

that are absurd

like when her son

wants to show her a picture

on his phone

(which of course glows

with its own inner light

just like she does)

and to see the picture better

she holds it under the light

of the table lamp.

She would give you money

if you were sitting on the sidewalk

with a sign,

and would believe you

if you were faking it.

Arriving at her seat

on the plane

she asks the nearest young person

‘You’re strong, right?’

and they smile

and put her suitcase up

with utmost gallantry

and later help her find

her bottle cap

that has fallen under the seat,

and for all of this

she is glowingly grateful.

That might be

what you see

as me

on the outside.


What you might not see

is the me


A whole Universe

of Universes,

an emptiness

that magically contains


an ageless


that is looking through these eyes

giving its benediction

to the world.


  • Trudi Lee Richards


To read more about my trip, go here

About Trudi Lee Richards

Author, poet, Spanish-English translator; Activist and community builder. Member of the international Community of Silo's Message (www.silosmessage.net) and its Portland, Oregon and Red Bluff, California communities (www.RedBluffPark.org) Published work includes "On Wings of Intent, a biography of Silo," "Soft Brushes with Death, a Jorge Espinet Primer," "Fish Scribbles," and "Experiences on the Threshold - with Silo's Message." Also publisher and editor of "Human Future," an independent review published in San Francisco, California, from 1989 to 1996. Mother of five grown kids/stepkids and five step grandkids; Long ago graduate of Stanford University; Lives in Portland, Oregon.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.