Today I woke up with a feeling of soreness. It was like my entire body was stiff and I could barely move around. But this is something that happens very often after a long hunt. I guess it’s the combined effect of the long run – which sometimes may take days – and the big amount of food, all at once. I always get soreness if I eat a lot after one week or two of not eating.
Last night I was lucky enough not to be chosen to guard the tribe, because I know I wouldn’t have any energy left for that. Every time I run continuously for more than 3 days I get really tired. And I still remembered what happened 3 hunts ago, when I fell asleep and the animals attacked a part of the tribe. I pushed them away, with the help of the other hunters, but they still got a few people. Yes, I get really tired when I run for more than 3 days in a row.
But I’m lucky to be able to do this, while I’m still young. I mean, in 20-30 hunts I’m gonna be old, and then I won’t be able to run anymore and I will rely only on the care of the tribe. The young guys will hunt and if they will want to share with us, I could get a piece. No more runs and less food. That’s what happens when you get old.
As I got out of the shelter, in the dim light just before the dawn, I counted the kids and they seemed to be all. All 12, as I remembered. I noticed a new one, crying, but didn’t give him too much attention. His mother will take care of him, somehow.
I watched the sky, looking for signs of famine. Every time the sky gets dark, there will be a famine. Strong winds, or water coming from the sky and no more hunting. We stay in shelters for days and then famine comes and we get really hungry. Sometimes we ate grass or roots but it doesn’t taste good and it doesn’t give me strength.
But sometimes, when the water comes down from the sky, and we stay a lot of time in the shelters, I get to find an available woman and we make kids. Really, really fast, as it should be, because she has to be there for other men too, and for the kids, of course. Kids are good. They will grow up and they will hunt for us. And it feels good to make kids, with the woman. It feels really good.
The tribe was still asleep and the air slowly started to smell like celebration time. Every once in a while, we stop hunting and then celebrate with squeezed roots that makes us dizzy and light and we laugh and we cry and we scream and fight with each other and then look upon the sky to find the mighty people.
Nobody met one yet, but we all know they’re there, for us. Sometimes they give us signs, by using the clouds in the sky or the waters, or, like the trembling men are telling when they close their eyes, they give us signs by talking in a voice we can’t hear, and only they can hear. They, the shamans, the trembling men. Sometimes I wish we didn’t need to feed them, because they don’t hunt. But they’re useful in other ways. I guess.
There are a few other men going out from their shelters too. We groan and greet each other and then look around, trying to decide what we’re gonna do. There’s still plenty of food from yesterday’s hunt and some of the people will eat today. And then, we ask the shaman if we celebrate and he looks upon the skies and nods. Sometimes it means yes, sometimes it means no, so we wait until he squeezes some roots and then suck them and starts his weird and funny dance. Now we know, it’s gonna be a celebration. We’re gonna be dizzy and laugh and scream and fight.
Today I woke up with a small feeling of soreness from yesterday run. I ran one hour, but at a very good pace, 4 minutes and 49 seconds per kilometer, as my GPS watch recorded it in real time. That GPS is a very good thing.
As I went to the bathroom where I took a shower and washed my teeth, I used electricity to make light. And then put on some music, using a telephone. Well, it used to be a telephone, now it’s a thing that allows me to talk to other people from all over the planet, in real time, sometimes even looking at them, seeing them. And then I looked to my contacts and tasks for the day.
The kids were at the school already and my girlfriend was still asleep. We have different time schedules, she’s a night bird, I’m an early riser.
In the kitchen, the place where we eat, there was a lot of food, some prepared using instant heat, some by mixing vegetables we got the other day from a special place, called the market. I ate lightly, some vegetables. I still keep a good diet and last time I measured my metabolic rate I got an age of 30 (I’m 45), which means I’m quite young.
I did my yoga session and my meditation and it felt good and empowering, as always.
The schedule for today didn’t look very busy so I cancelled a few meetings and decided I’m going to take a long weekend. I left a note to my girlfriend on the kitchen table, telling her I’m taking the morning plane to the seaside and she can join me in the afternoon, if she wants.
And then I rushed to the airport and bought a ticket for the morning plane. While I was waiting, I made a few reservations at the hotel and for the restaurant. An SMS from my girlfriend confirmed she was going to join me later. With a silky, red, surprise, she noted at the end of it. I love it when she does that. I really do.
All in all, it looked like I was going to have a celebration weekend.
Now, if you made it until here, you kinda realized what I am talking about.
The first story is about a man from, let’s say, 10.000 years ago. The second story is about a man from last week.
The difference between those two days is though, striking. Well, it’s more than striking, it’s amazing, almost unbelievable. It’s on the verge of miracle.
Because, you know, when our minds can’t integrate something with the amount of information they have, they use this shortcut: the miracle. When the “natural” is not explainable anymore, the “super natural” comes into place. The mind invented the gods, so they can make sense of an unexplainable universe.
The “mighty men” from the first story – the gods – are just the normal men from the second one.
If the man from the first story would have meet the man from the second story, how would they get along? What will they talk about?
Running, perhaps? One will run for days just to find food, the second will run an hour and feel very accomplished. Sex, maybe? Well, one will be considered lucky if he’ll have access to a woman just to make kids, while the second will get a succession of paradisiac evenings with no consequences other than a very good memory. Or maybe, yoga? Or meditation? Or smartphones and planes?
How would the first man will interpret all of these, if not by covering them in the “miracle” blanket? There is no way he can explain all those things in other ways. I mean, just imagine: talking to other people by looking at them in your hand, or flying like birds, or making light instantly in your shelter. Those things are, for the first man, miracles.
Now, imagine how would the first man will feel if he’ll switch places with the second one. Imagine the guy, for a second, in an average apartment, with an average surface, with a kitchen, some rooms, in a city where he can run and with an airport with planes that he can catch, and fly with.
That man will feel in paradise. He’ll feel like a god. Really.
Now, here’s my question to you: do you think that you can switch your place, from today, with a man from, let’s say, 10.000 years in the future?
Image credits: “Bidgee [CC BY-SA 3.0 au (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/au/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons”