Desire for a poor Mexican curandero had me, a WASP anthropologist dancing madly across physical, cultural, and spiritual borders.
The WASP and El Curandero is a creative nonfiction narrative…and a culture clash, and the war between the sexes, my individuation process, my Master’s thesis in Anthropology; and my love, eros, for The Other.
I flopped out of WASPhood straight into a Magical World View-an anthropological term that perfectly describes Mexican Folk Culture where witches, demons, and spirits are constant companions. Talk about Culture Shock! Like flopping into another fishbowl filled with ice cubes. Lose your breath. Disoriented. Goosebumps. But I had a couple of tools of individuation with me at the time to help me navigate uncharted seas, uncharted at least to an earth-bound, middle-aged homeroom mother who doesn’t speak Spanish but wants to research Mexican Folk Culture.
But, wait. Let’s talk, also, about the humor that can be twisted out of culture clash between any two fishbowls. Humor is a trailblazer.
2 1/2 years of journaling my research (and deseo) for Alberto, plus 3 years of hiding the journals from my family’s eyes, plus 10 years of bravely submitting 10 pages/week to the writing group–and there you have it:
The WASP and El Curandero by Katherine Brittain
And now the work begins.