Today shaman had a guest.
A hunter would visit his shack.
– Greetings wise man – said hunter.
– Greetings hunter – replied shaman. – What makes you think I am a wise man?
Huntsman would shrug his arms:
– Look – he said, and pointed at what was below the cliff – Out there, there is a jungle. You are indeed wise man to stay away from it.
– What makes those cold rocks better than the place that is down below? – shaman kept asking.
– Jungle makes you filthy, shaman. – said hunter. – To survive in it, you need to become part of it. You need to step in, obey it’s rules even if your heart does not agree with them.
You see…. I have a big family, I have many women and many children. They all need me and my skills. They all need the food which I can deliver. They all depend on me. I don’t have the luxury of being myself anymore. I am part of a jungle now. I need to be a predator, and I need to be the cruelest one.
I set up booby traps, deceive, hide in the shadows, cover my face with mud. And eventually, at the end of the day I bath my hands in the blood of my prey. I cannot feel regret, I cannot feel compassion, I need to consume the others so the others do not consume myself. I dwell in the darkness, and my eyes hurt when they are approached by the light. I cannot escape the dirtiness of the jungle, as I live it every day.
In the end – I am becoming the jungle.
But up here, shaman… – hunter would make a pause, as he was dazed by the beauty of rising moon – Up here you can be liberated from all of the darkness below. Up here on top of the mountain you can remain pure, you can remain who you truly are. That’s why I think you are a wise man, shaman.
And a silence would occur.
Shaman would pick up his matte and took a long sip. For a moment he and the hunter would look at the stars. Both with the same affliction.
Than the shaman would say:
– Maybe you are right hunter. Maybe not. Once you are in the jungle you experience all it’s trouble, all it’s pain, but also you can taste it’s fruit. Once you are in the jungle, you are living among the others, you don’t feel cold in the night, you don’t feel alone. But on the other hand you have to sacrifice bit of yourself to fit into the tribe.
Once you are in the jungle you feel the thrill of the hunt, and the passion of your tribesman while joining them in a ritual dance. Up here, hunter, the only thing you can feel are – the cold embrace of the wind, and the enormous sense of the loss, missing all the things that you can see down below, but which you cannot experience. Once in the jungle you live the life, once above it, you are just observing it.
You remain pure, but for what cost?
-So what is the right way than? – hunter would ask.
– Maybe there is no right way. Or maybe both ways are right. Maybe we would find out if we would exchange our places…one day.
– A shaman would hunt capybaras, and a hunter would start telling a stories?
They both laughed at this idea.
And they they would go their ways.
One would pick up his spear and merged into jungle. The other other remained here on top of the hill, drinking his matte , listening to the wind which brought a new chant.