THE DESERT'S PURPOSE
Dreamed 1996/11/19 by Chris Wayan
I'm just south of the Mexican border, in the back of a pickup truck heading southeast. A guy from southern Mexico, riding by me in the truck bed, asks me in Spanish what I know about this Sonoran desert we're passing through.
I answer slowly, awkwardly, having forgotten my Spanish, but I step around words and constructions I can't recall: something like "Creatures and ideas... las criaturas y ideas se originaron en, en Alta California, pero la evolución tests them, uh, pruébalas en las condiciones dificiles del desierto Sonora. Aquí... they get their strength and strategies here, gañan la fortaleza, y sus estrategías ingeniosas. La Sonora is like, como un... oven? Ah! Un horno, y somos pan." And we are bread, loafing and baking away in the back of the truck...
At first he thinks I'm talking of animals only; I have to repeat "no, no, las ideas too. They're born, nacen en Nueva York o San Francisco, pero they mature here, en el desierto se maturan."
This desert, this gap, is everywhere in my dreams now. A desert in the heart of a great city, marked Here Be Dragons. Silent somber redwoods after meeting warm, friendly telepath trees. Elbow room... silence... pain... time... loneliness.
Are my dreams saying that loneliness runs new things through a Darwinian filter, testing if they're valid and fit? Does loneliness play as essential a part in mental and social health, as predation plays in ecological health?
Maybe friendly people have overlooked something.
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