Friday, April 09, 2004

Did the ancients think that the stars were campfires burning in the sky?

Lately it is as if i were traversing a large dark field speckled with campfires. Each fire holds a small group of people who invite me to drink hot tea, to warm my body and listen to their stories. I introduce myself and listen closely. This metaphor has strength for me.

I remember walking on dark beaches in San Diego, beaches illuminated only by a string of campfires. Walking by the cold tides, our bare feet bouncing on the wet sand, we would walk from one to the next. As we approached each one, what seemed like dark stirrings took on a human face. A small band of people would emerge, mumblings became words, became conversations and each fire became an island. As we walked away, the warm chatter would again get washed out by the sounds of the ocean and we'd be again stumbling in the darkness, guiding ourselves by the light of the approaching flames.

The path is dark and uncertain and so it is natural that we create communities to huddle with, to exchange dreams.

The other day I lay in Dolores park with M. and her roommate, our bellies exposed to the sun. The day was warm and so we were surrounded by couples and groups on their blankets. I shared stories of things I had recently heard and seen. M. laughed as we agreed that you do not need to visit foreign cities to get a taste of the culturally strange.

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