"The Nagual Juan Matus said that when it's time to go we will have a sign," Nestor said. "Something we truly like will come forth and take us."
"He said it doesn't have to be something great." Benigno added. "Anything we like will do."
"For me the sign will come in the form of the lead soldiers I never had," Nestor said to me. "A row of Hussars on horseback will come to take me. What will it be for you?"
I remembered don Juan telling me once that death might be behind anything imaginable, even behind a dot on my writing pad. He gave me then the definitive metaphor of my death. I had told him that once while walking on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles I had heard the sound of a trumpet playing and old, idiotic popular tune. The music was coming from a record shop across the street. Never had I heard a more beautiful sound. I became enraptured by it. I had to sit down on the curb. The limpid brass sound of that trumpet was going directly to my brain. I felt it just above my right temple. It soothed me until I was drunk with it. When it concluded, I knew that there would be no way of ever repeating that experience, and I had enough detachment not to rush into the store and buy the record and a stereo set to play it on.
Don Juan said that it had been a sign given to me by the powers that rule the destiny of men. When the time comes for me to leave the world, in whatever form, I will hear the same sound of that trumpet, the same idiotic tune, the same peerless trumpeter."
- Carlos Castaneda, The Eagle's Gift
It's fifty years later and you are one or two bits of know-how smarter if none the wiser. In a moment of reverie the scene at the exact moment where you made the tiny little mistake that cost you 'The Woman', the second or third of your "One-and-Only's" comes to your mind's eye. You cringe at the mistake and then for some reason look at the scene again more calmly and you know exactly what you should have done. And you do it.
On this also see: Vestments of the Tenless