“To truly know the world
look deeply in your heart
to truly know about yourself
take real interest in the world”
My interview is set for 9.30 am, at her home in Punta Ballena, Uruguay. I go by taxi: I start my drive observing, thinking about Agó Páez and her father, Carlos Páez Vilaró. I can’t help thinking about my Dad, who passed away three months ago, during this trip: I recall our visits to Casapueblo (a beautiful house built by Carlos Páez Vilaró) which has the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen; our stays at the La Posta del Cangrejo Hotel, the croissants from La Fragata coffee shop. I let myself go; the ancient grove hooks me and embraces me. I take out my camera but, gently, put it back in my bag. I want to enjoy the view, feed my soul with its colours and breathe; finally breathe pure air.
I arrive at the door, a wooden countryside gate. Agó approaches me. She is dressed in white, her golden brown skin shows she is tanned by the sun, which she deeply loves as her father used to do. She hugs me. I feel as if I am in a cosy place. Her dogs Chelo, Margarita, Chocolate and Loli and her cats Lucero, Estrella, Micha and Marina and even her hen, Pepa, come to welcome me with joy! Alicia, a beautiful and kind woman who helps Agó also welcomes me at this magical spot. The house owner invites me in; I agree. I enter a spiritual homey premise where we sit on soft inviting colourful cushions and, after five minutes, Alicia brings us a delicious homemade lemon verbena tea.
I cannot fully describe the place because I am speechless; I can only express that I feel like if I were in the Milky Way, surrounded by planets of different colours (her mandalas) and I sense the protection of an enlightened aura that can only be given to another person from whom irradiates love: Agó Páez. I find my voice at last…
Maria Cabeza: “Hello Agó, hope you are fine. What a beautiful name you have! Where does it come from?”
Agó: “Actually, my name is Magdalena and my brother, who is older than me, instead of saying ‘ajó’ (a word babies babble in Latin America) he used to call me saying, ‘Agó… Agó…’ He couldn’t pronounce it well, nor say my name so my guess is that we simply got used to it and so I am known as Agó. Moreover, it is also my artistic name.”
MC: “Why did you choose mandalas (when you draw)?”
Agó: “When I was three years old and I started painting with my Dad, he first taught me how to paint the sun. My first steps regarding working with the circular shape happened at the same time I began my spiritual path, without being aware that I was actually drawing mandalas. I connected with the circle and it was then when I understood that something was going on with me; the shape was related to ancient cultures like: the Tibetans, the Mayas, the Aztecs and I felt, after meditating, that I had to work deeply on the circle. After that I decided to open a school in Rosario (a province in Argentina) which has been teaching the art of Healing through Mandalas for 17 years, together with a friend of mine, the sculptor Karina Beltrame. She was impressed by my work when she came to Uruguay and proposed me to go to Rosario. So together we planned…”
MC: “Wow!, how exciting…”
Agó: “Yes. It was thrilling… a breeding ground, to such an extent that nowadays we are happy and proud to announce that the UIA (Inter-discipline University of Argentina) called us to offer it as an MBA in the realm of Art Therapy through Mandalas. Can you imagine how it moved me, what it meant to me? I don’t have a degree myself! I am blessed.”
MC: “I can tell but also there are many people who do have a degree and they are not gifted, neither creative or they are just not committed to what they studied, they don’t risk it, they are not daring…”
Agó: “My Dad used to say, ‘The only degree I have got it is as a typist’ and I think about that… when you let yourself be guided by your heart these opportunities show up. As time went by I could reconfirmed that working with mandalas was already pre appointed for me, like a life mission.