Talking with Her on the Other Side: Abou Farman and Leonor Caraballo, Part 2

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Hailed by the New Yorker and VarietyIcaros: A Vision is a narrative feature about illness and healing at an ayahuasca center in the Peruvian amazon. The movie recently opened in New York. 

Leonor Caraballo, the film’s co-director, passed from this world before seeing it finished. The film’s producer and co-writer Abou Farman and Leo had collaborated with for 15 years as the arts duo caraballo-farman. 

Recently, Abou sat down with mediums and readers to see how Leonor, his partner in life and art, feels about the film, her afterlife and other issues. Below is an “afterlife interview” with Leonor, the second in a series that will be published on Reality Sandwich (you can read the first one here). The transcript (completed with help from KK de la Vida) has been edited for length; no one in this world is responsible for its content. 

Leonor Caraballo
Leonor Caraballo

(Pictured right: Leonor Caraballo and Abou Farman)

Abou:  Well, like I said, my wife passed away two years ago and we worked together very closely. And the last project we did was a film that’s coming out May 19. I’ve continued to work with her on and off in different ways and so yeah, I also want to contact her through you.

Reader: Ok, I’m not a medium, but if you ask me questions, I can look over in the cards… what is her name?

Abou: Leo.


Reader: Sometimes when I read the dead show up, but I would never call myself a medium because I can’t guarantee that.

Abou: I see, right.

Reader: Was she older than you?

Abou: No.

Reader: Who’s the younger man around her? Oh, and he’s a friend of yours? He’s an ‘M’, I believe.

Abou: Yes he’s an M. He’s the co-director of the film and a very very close friend of hers.

Reader: I get a letter D and a letter C and another letter A besides you. Any of these letters mean anything to you?

Abou: D, C and A. Nothing jumps into my empty head.

Reader: Hahaha that’s ok.

Abou: Oh, ‘A’ is ‘afterlife’.

Reader: Hahaha, a wiseass…  Ok, may I have ten cards?

Abou: Ten?

Reader: One at a time.

Reader: This is the project and I do see a younger man that plays a pivotal role in this. There is still someone and some questions and research about what is happening here. This film was a quest that she felt very much was an internal as well as an external process, something that had to be done. It should look at the dark side of nature, as well as a solution, a lot to do with wisdom, finding wisdom. Am I making sense to you?

Abou: Completely.

Reader: This is the message that is going on here for you, starts off with a lot of volatility and a lot of what could appear as passion. I don’t want to look at you, I just want to stay with the cards. There’s almost an irascible, edgy kind of conversation or even arguments around the film, and they are about this wisdom, to be able to ask about what’s most significant or important. But it’s also about paying attention to the finer detail, the finer things, the weaker, more fragile things that need to be taken care of, like porcelain. Does this take place in different countries?

Abou: Yes, well, it was all shot in Peru, but we made it here so…

Reader: Ok, well, the reason why you can remain in contact with her is because she is walking between both worlds, she is still seeking her own information, her own truth, her own knowledge. She should talk to you about this. There was a lot of guidance around this film. There were things that were filmed in the space between the two of you. While it might have been a project of your life together, might have been one way of its manifestation, a mutual journey, there was a sense that you were being guided, that you couldn’t not do it, like there was a larger hand and it was a fight bigger than any one individual.

Abou: Mhm.

Reader: And betrayals. And many deaths. And now the healing. And the strategies to undermine everything that you put out there. Just so that we can go on a new journey.

Abou: ‘Undermine everything that you put out there?’

Reader: Yes, undermining everything that you put out there. There are strategies that are going to want to undermine your story… These are agitations, plots, to make things appear one way when they’re actually another way. And the plot is to undermine the things that you’re trying to make happen… It will win some kind of an award.

Abou: That’s the six of wands?

Reader: What we’re talking about is what was happening to her in the journey, and what unfolds from all of that. And it is about the greater research, as I said, it was a quest, it was a do-or-die situation. This was something that was an enormous commitment and it seems to have to do with things that look beautiful, but where there’s destruction. And you’re saying that’s not true?

Abou: I didn’t say that. I mean, one major destruction was that she died in the process. But I don’t know what other kind of destruction to recognize.

Reader: She’s saying this is a project of truth, this is not about telling a story, this is a truth. And if you want to know where she went afterwards, as I said, she’s walking between two worlds, she hasn’t fully crossed over yet.

Abou: That’s the hermit sign? That says that?

Reader: Mhm. Yes she’s in-

Abou: Well, she was always kind of a hermit, in the sense that she was very much a solitary person…

Reader: A loner?

Abou: Yeah…

Reader: This is the barren land. It’s the ‘walking between two worlds’. This is the guidance where you feel guided to do – and then the death comes… And it’s just an acceptance. And again, the land is fallow here, up to a different horizon. That’s the actual death. This is where she is now. That’s the foundation of the reading. This is what’s coming in. This is about the great healing. This is about setting a goal, setting a name, an outcome, for not only what you want from her, but also about the project. There will be a strategy…

Abou: I don’t understand that strategy part. A strategy around the film, around the life, around the wisdom, around the afterlife?

Reader: There’s a strategy to undermine what it is that you’re trying to do.

Abou: From somebody else?

Reader: Yes, from someone else. Not from her. Not you guys. You put it together. This has to do with the healing. You’re offering the healing. Did you want to talk about her death?

Abou: I guess we can talk about her death, let’s talk about her death. I’ve talked about it a lot. I don’t have many questions there. I know she knew what she was doing.

Reader: Yes, she knew what she was doing. She knew exactly what she was doing. Because she took care of the details of what she was doing… Did she come from this [card], a place where she felt homeless within herself? Were these the things that were on her mind? Like she had a great deal of difficulty trusting and therefore had to strategize, be covert about what she was thinking? Was this more her personality?

Abou: Yes, that was her personality.

Reader: Yes, then that’s what this is.

Abou: What the strategy is? That’s trying to undermine it?

Reader: She believed that somebody would undermine the integrity of the project and her life. She had major issues around her mother, I don’t see a father, but she had major issues around her mother. There is a place in her that she felt homeless. She had shame issues.

Abou: What’s the fool?

Reader: The fool is the new journey. This is where ‘I’ take the risk, I don’t know what’s next, but I take the risk anyway. Where I jump into something where I know not what awaits me but knowing I have to take this journey. Where she could show the greatest amount of love and intimacy was a project. This is a healing methodology for her.

Abou: Not just for her.

Reader: No, not just for her, the project itself.

Abou: And what does it heal?

Reader: I’m not going to try to make this something in accordance with what it is that you want. The healing of the project is the actual adamancy for the love of the project. What it heals is this feeling of knowing that there is a quest in everybody. There is a quest that everyone must take, that I must take. I don’t know what exactly will lie ahead but I know I must take it and I must take it in love. But while I do this, as I make that decision to do this, and I really haven’t questioned everything the way I could have, what I learned is not only the intimacy of being within the quest, but I am the quest as well. How does it heal? It heals on a very practical and heroic level. This is the quiet hero. This is the hero that doesn’t make a fuss about being a hero. This is the hero that takes care of what needs to be taken care just because it needs to be taken care of. And he’s slow moving. And he gets there. He tends to the smaller things in life, the weak, the burgeoning. The new ideas. Knights are always on quests, always about movement, always about messages. What you’re saying is that you’re getting messages from her. These are the messages of these cards. Death comes in…

Abou: Yeah.

Reader: And I think that this project was part of what she was trying to heal. Because this is the healing. This is the story.

Abou: Does she think it’s good?

Reader: Yes, she thinks it’s good. She just wants you to ask the right questions. Ask the questions that are hard.

Abou: ‘Do you like the film?’ is not the right question?

Reader: No, you asked me, does she feel the film is good? And I said yes, but she just wants you to ask the right questions. And what I told you is that she wants it to be truth, she wants to share wisdom. If you’ve done that, then that’s what it is. Lay it to rest and get it out there. Because this is not the end, it’s a connection, a very deep connection, while you’re working on the project it keeps her alive…

Abou: Yeah and the project now gets out there in theaters and we don’t…

Reader: There are guides there. There are the same guides that were there in the room with you guys in the project. There was a feeling that something was guiding this. Not just from her. She didn’t bring that, it’s a fact from the entire project. That there are guides, entities, energetics. And like I was saying, these energies are resonating now. And you can feel them.

Abou: Well, I feel them all the time, she was there all the time when we edited.

Reader: Yes, but it’s not just her, right there. ‘Cause these guys were still there when she was still alive. When she was in physical form. They’re there at the inception, the genesis of the project. And they shed light on it, what you wrote sheds light and forces people to ask questions on some level. But that comes from the internal process between worlds. When people die, they don’t go anywhere, their body dies but consciousness still continues. And if they’re still adept to here, they’ll continue to connect you to that consciousness. That’s why it’s very easy to talk to the dead. For me.

Abou: Easy for you?

Reader: Yeah, I think for people who have a natural tendency to be mediums, conduits, I think that they find it very easy to read cards.

Abou: So the thing about the film as a project is that it’s got guides around it… Who’s supposed to see it? Who’s supposed to benefit in some way?

Reader: Give me three cards, let’s see. There’s going to be a lot of gossip about this film. Did you want an initial about who’s supposed to see it? Someone with a letter K.

Abou: I don’t know who K is, but I’ll figure it out.

Reader: Yeah, it’s definitely someone with a letter K that’s supposed to see it.

Abou: It could be Ken. I don’t know.

Reader: And there’ll be a lot of talk about it, a lot of buzz…

Abou: So asking, ‘Who’s supposed to see it?’ is a way of asking, ‘Who’s going to derive benefit from seeing it?’

Reader: Well, it says young people. This is an old story being told in a new way. This has to do with new beginnings. This is youth, this is youth. But the story– it’s an old story. I don’t know what I’m saying, I don’t know anything about you or your project. And this is the year to get it out there. Oh, you’re a scorpio, ha!

Abou: Oh, so you point to death (card) when you say scorpio?

Reader: That’s scorpio. Because scorpio is the sign of death. It’s death, taxes and rejuvenation.

Abou: Ok well taxes is now…

Reader: Who’s supposed to see it? The world. That’s the judgment card. Definitely there’s a D here. Do you want to know where does the project go from here?

Abou: I want to know its relationship to her. We knew how to work with her in the editing, in the creative process. I don’t know if it makes sense to ask. It’s too late but it would be interesting to know what she would change about the film.

Reader: Little bit on the sound.

Abou: Oh, the sound?

Reader: Yes, something with the sound. Did you score this?

Abou: Well, we composed the soundtrack for her but it’s not –

Reader: It’s not as good as it could be. Yeah, ask me specific questions.

Abou: Yeah? Ok, I also want to know what’s up with… the cockroach.

Reader: Hahaha.

Abou: You said a specific question.

Reader: That’s a hysterical kind of question, hahaha.

Abou: Is that funny?

Reader: Oh my god. It represents some male. Ok give me another card. That’s hilarious. A cockroach. It represents a male, something about betrayal. You had a business with betrayal. Anybody with a letter E around her, her project? Letter E, an E or a C?

Abou: I don’t know, I’m not good with that.

Reader: There was a betrayal that gave their word on something and then went up and left. I’m not kidding. The letter D is fabulous for you. He’s a businessman.

Abou: I don’t like businessmen.

Reader: Well I’m telling you, he’s gonna come in here. He absolutely wants to do something with your project. It’s definitely a business offer. Now, let me just say this, because I don’t know what the project is. Let me just give this as a hypothetical. Someone sees your project and they say, ‘You know this would work really well in schools.’ That kind of a thing.

Abou: Ok so I have to find a D.

Reader: You don’t have to find him. He’s gonna show up.

Abou: D-man’s gonna come?

Reader: Yeah. When I tell you something’s coming in, it’s coming in. You don’t have to find him, he’ll show up. The letter K will show up.

Abou: So D, I’m gonna hold the D in my head.

Reader: I think your lady was frustrated about a lot of things in life. Ok? These are not judgments, these are insights. I think she was impacted by a lot of things that people said. Whether or not she stayed steady was due to her own resolve, but I think it impacted her emotionally. I think she had deep feelings about things, I think she had a lot of self-doubt. Whether or not she believed in them – and while she showed great confidence to the project – it’s second to what I’m speaking of. So she might have been very confident about the project, she might have had a lot of self-doubt. She was impacted by how people spoke to her and it didn’t matter how she was able to stand to it, ‘do it anyway kind of thing.’ She felt betrayed by people, she felt betrayed by family. I don’t – is this her first project? Because I see her busy at work.

Abou: No, no, this is the first film, but we did a lot of projects together. We did a lot of, you know, art projects. Definitely not the first one.

Reader: And you didn’t do anything for universities, schools? Did you guys work on a book?

Abou: Yes, I teach at university.

Reader: That’s where you’re gonna meet this D. And it’s not a title, not the ‘Dean of.’ It’s his name. And he works, like with a team.

Abou: Ok.

Reader: Oh yeah! And you should continue to write. And you should write about the dark nature of things.

Abou: Yeah?

Reader: Yes, this is about the dark side of things. You must tell the truth. You know, like the philosopher Spinoza, who’s known as the truth seeker. What do you teach?

Abou: I teach anthropology.

Reader: Oh, the study of man. Oh, there’s a darkness there buddy…

Abou: The writing…

Reader: Yeah, the writing. And I think there’s a project coming up, something with music. If I read that correctly. But this is writing, this is stuff that sustains you after you’re deceased. That’s part of what she wanted, she wanted to leave something that would outlive her.

Abou: Yes.

Reader: And into the underworld she went.

Abou: She doesn’t want me to go meet her?

Reader: No, she does not want you to go and meet her. You have work to do buddy, you have work to do. I understand the loss. Look at me, I understand the loss. I understand the pain that goes with it. You get the feeling that she’s calling you?

Abou: No…

Reader: You have work to do. You know what? You can do it. And there’s a way to do it without guilt, but you have to write the story first. That’s why I asked you, did you want to write about her death?

Abou: Yes, write about it, yes, I have been.

Reader: Yes! Yes. From genesis to grief. What transpires in someone’s life, when a baby is born, that looks like hope and then it’s despair. Just write it…

Abou: Ok, I want to know how she feels about how we changed the opening scenes.

Reader: Alright. I’m gonna use my regular playing cards. Ok, nine cards, how does she feel about changing the opening sequence, nine cards, right on top. Right on top. Five. One more. Ok. Alright. Say her name for me again.

Abou: Leo.

Reader: Ok Leo, let’s see what you feel. That’s the writing. Oh my god, it’s going to answer you very specifically. Oh she likes it.

Abou: What do you mean?

Reader: She likes it. She says it’s where you got stuck at some point. Matteo, the M, got stuck and it moves. Letter K. There’s a letter K that has to see this movie.

Abou: Again?

Reader: Again, it’s in the cards. Lots of women are gonna like this movie. She likes it. She was aware that you were struggling with the decision. Letter M. Very interested in it. The writing is good. There’s gonna be three things that you’re gonna put out there that’s gonna be great. Your fifties are about your full creative journey.

Abou: What does she think about the first hallucination scenes?

Reader: Three cards… She thought some of them were a little confusing but that they were artistic.

Abou: Ok.

Reader: She doesn’t see them as detrimental, but she thought some of it was confusing. She liked one of them that’s supported. Like in other words, there was more than one hallucination and one of the hallucinations supported another hallucination, which she liked very much. She thought it was very creative.

Abou: How about – how about the mother?

Reader: We’ve got the mother here.

Abou: The mother of all, the mother.

Reader: The divine mother. Yes, we have the mother here.

Abou: Where, oh that’s the queen?

Reader: Ok so give me three cards. What do you want to know about the mother? She’s surrounded by beauty. What do you want to know?

Abou: I want to know how it worked out for her in the film. The mother of the film.

Reader: Can I have one more? Might have opened up her mind to a place she didn’t want to go. Brought up something in her death for her. I think she was a little shocked… She thought you were a good partner. And eventually you let her find her own way. Yes?

Abou: Yes, I guess that makes sense, but how does that relate to the mother in the film?

Reader: She didn’t like it. She was shocked by it, surprised by it. She felt a piece of the essence missing.  Does the mother die?

Abou: No, the mother is timeless.

Reader: Oh you’re talking about the divine mother?

Abou: Yes, that’s the mother of the film.

Reader: Right. See I told you, this is the big kahuna, this card. I think the woman, I think the woman who played the mother, that that’s protected. But how Leo felt about it, she didn’t like the ending. She didn’t like the ending. Said you gave up on something. That you were thinking one thing and then you gave that up and then went another way.

Abou: Yeah, cause we didn’t have any footage left.

Reader: No she’s not mad about it. She doesn’t want you to worry. And no, she does not want you to join her.  Because you have work to do. Because you have a story that’s going to change things and that story has to be written.

Abou: It’s not very important.

Reader: It’s not important to you, because the thing you most value, the person you most value is not by your side.

Abou: But also it’s not important in this context, it’s not important in the bigger picture, because the forces that are at play, the forces that are in contention right now are much much darker.

Reader: That’s going to be part of what you’re talking about. People who are going to be displaced. What else can I help you with Abou? She feels that if you really understand the story of the mother, that you will feel rescued. That you will stop looking at this desire to die. So maybe you should review that particular part of the storyline. Because you, because you feel homeless, it’s a crisis of faith.

Abou: That’s a bad thing?

Reader: No, it’s appropriate. It’s appropriate to the circumstance but if you live in it, it’s interminable, a form of depression. Because: I don’t know where I belong. And the only time where I knew where I belonged was with Leo. That puts a hell of a lot of dependency on her.

Abou: Yeah?

Reader: You’ll see her again. It’s not your time. And there are ways to do it –

Abou: What?

Reader: There are ways to end a life without guilt and without question. It’s just not your time. And no, she is not asking you to join her. Because literally, you have work to do. I read too many people who’ve been where you are and that pain is excruciating. She’s…

Abou: I’ve cried so much for two years.

Reader: Yeah. It’s a feeling of profound abandonment. It’s not rejection. It’s abandonment. Your nature is a water nature, it’s a feeling nature. And its sustained and filled by the woman, who is a symbol of water. What was her birthday?

Abou: July 28th.

Reader: Yeah, Leo has this strength and dignity. But she also has a life that doesn’t allow her to feel comfortable either. You have a lot in common with each other. You were the healers for both. And you go to healers! She comes to you in dreams. Have you dreamt about her?

Abou: Yeah, many, many times, but not enough.

Reader: She comes to you in dreams. She comes to you at night.

Abou: Yeah.

Reader: And she will come to you in symbols and conversation. The love you had was real. Even though there was fantasy around it! And arguments! You guys had great arguments. Ok sweetie?

Abou: Ok.

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