Do you know the feeling when you wake up from an amazing dream...

so vivid and enduring while it lasted, but now so hard to reach behind a fog of hazy, disjointed recollections? Who were those dark animated figures wearing colorful garments and wide-brimmed hats? Who were the masked dancers and trumpeters beyond the explosive brass of a street orchestra, behind the smell of delicious food being cooked on every corner by grandmothers? Did I really pay two dollars for half-a-kilo of raw cacao beans? Have I been chewing coca? What about the pathless slopes and granite battlements of sheer rock, slipping and sliding in the dark, thorns and cactus and dogs foaming at the mouth? Have I been bitten? Have I chased them away and became a dog myself? Have I really saddled the back of a dragon and soared through air, looking down at an undulating landscape of bones growing and shedding human flesh? I know I talked to the rock, the nautilus, an old amphibian relic crystallized and harder than stone, and its spirit appeared and spoke to me. He looked ancient. He said “You are a messenger boy. Go and deliver.” He winked as I woke up and I wondered: where on earth have I been in the last seven months? One is drawn towards certain places - even half way across the world - almost against one's will. There is no rationale in selling your house and giving away your best-laid plans for a comfortable future with somebody special to buy a discount ticket to Lima, Peru. Lima is hell on wheels, driven into an unpredictable frenzy of excitement: everything rotates so furiously quick that there's no pause to consider where you are going. It ain't exactly the place to be comfortably anonymous - even behind sunglasses and a rubber smile stretched from ear to ear. The city gives the impression that stock markets have collapsed around the world and your monopoly money won't buy you a peanut. The whole place is immersed in a post-apocalyptic fog that clings to you like a leprous beggar. Perhaps it's your white skin, or your hair, or the clothes you wear. But more likely, it simply can tell: the city smells you and the hundred dollar bills stashed in your money belt. It can tell by your hesitance and your pause before you plunge into the turbulent flow that you are not part of it. Not yet. Get out, as fast as you came in. It is a dangerous, capricious and unpredictable affair. Of course, there are comfortable bus tours and package deals where one gets hoarded

alive.from hotel to hotel on well-greased tourist rails. to have a piece of paper and some directions scribbled on it.. You've been to Cuzco but you haven't.. a backpack and brutal mood swings were all that landed with me in Lima. She favors desperadoes. if you want to be treated hardly different from an educated sheep. some offered their hearts. A typical Shipibo village in the Amazon 'basement' runs several saw mills.. the more I know myself. But then the possibility of an adventure shrinks to the size of a smudged memory fingerprint – a blur made up of incoherent foreign names. I went to Peru in search of clarity and so. It seems more authentic that way. In fact.. and even your baggage is still there. which at the beginning feels like total chaos. But it helps. This is especially apparent in the indigenous Peruvians who live in the jungles and highlands. naturally. and their smiles embrace you as if you were a prodigal son returned from some epic voyage. fruit and meat in the hot sunlight). Peruvians at large are like kids.. and have a disarming innocence that can easily turn into tragedy. All I can tell you about Peru is bound to be refracted through the prism of my vision – my uncommon knowledge. and a suicidal hope to either experience this chaotic place or break and burn in the trying. She is a poor and proud country.. A week's worth of work fetches fifty bucks. if a little less clear. Women embroider in the breaks between cooking on the fire and washing laundry by hand. I found confusion almost at once. a cacophony wisdoms. the less common knowledge I care to rely on. Huaraz is just a roar of incessant noise and street vendor oratory (regardless if anyone listens – a throng of tricycles piled high with chinese knick knacks. those. A few halting words of Spanish. But then the next moment comes and you are still there. By the time you are thirty years old you are supposed to be tuned in to your destiny and sliding along the suburban conveyor belt towards fulfillment. and little else. They use the money to buy coca-cola.. You can't buy her. generic faces and discount offer coupons. trick her or force yourself upon her. the poor devils. In Peru everything is negotiable and reasonable. and gasoline to cut more trees. To these – myself included – they'll happily apportion the best of their day's catch of fish. I found not one shaman.. She won't open herself up to you and you will go home empty-handed. floating a fortune in hardwood upstream for a fraction of its price. . Fine. Events keep rolling along with a bumpy pace which sends you into a wakeful trance if you let it. but many... that. a notion as foreign to me now as it was three years ago. I had a hand-drawn map and a name of a shaman in my hand the first time I visited Peru. in a way of introduction. if they are lucky to ambush a rare gringo who happened by in search of a curandero. Some offered discounts.

The Shipibos' home used to be paradise. If people do not go the mountain. There is no burger king around the corner. non-stop. your hand finds a crystal underneath. When several people share a vision. more motorized canoes ferrying brown dark-haired fisherman. and the only thing that saves it from vanishing altogether is that the magic does not believe in the odds. Plastic and banana peels go overboard with the same nonchalance and swirl as the wake of their vessel. Indigenous people have had no time to digest neither our technology nor the trail of damage it leaves behind. individually and all at once. Each time you stumble. tossed by the current.. either. cities. Anything truly authentic is against the law. you can ride such an ancient all the way to Pucallpa and back. faster then ever. laid too well to reveal the hand of man. There are no more condors soaring above the Sacred Valley. even the Incas themselves are smaller. in soup. Coca leaves relieve fatigue and control blood sugar levels. So you take a nameless path (that every local tells you does not exist) over the mountain pass where. The land soaks everything up like a sponge and what it cannot swallow is left on the surface. the spirit of the plant itself guides you through the fog to the blue caves of a glacier. Environmentalism. women. It's . I saw armadillo eaten for dinner. shabbier. you do find slabs of flat rock as huge and cold as tombs. rusted car skeletons. She smiles. One needs a good meal after felling mighty trees all day long. best of all. others see a spaceship. The shaman's wife proudly told me that these creatures can reach up to a man's waist and be two hundred years old. The odds are against magic in the contemporary world of the rational and the banal. an ice wall fronting a hidden lake. Mostly plastic. native species are bound for extinction. I imagine. you can bring the mountain back down: to some a piece of rock looks like a floating island. forests and animals. kids that you can be sure have seen you first. Its not everyday you get to feed the boys some meat. The world is changing. It is all simply allowed to happen. as a concept. When toilet paper companies win. no words are necessary to communicate it. slicing and chopping. its armor plates would deflect any arrow but didn't stand a chance against 12-gauge buckshot. It's a merry-go-around. and increasingly hard to find. and. The polished stone animals lying there are its children. Cows don't do well in the jungle. be it the common law or the law of probability. before the oil and gas companies came. importing an all-consuming hunger for consumption. There are rock formations where the mind gives up entirely and one perceives cathedrals. has to grow out of pollution. Just more brown water. and black oil spills. sure enough. you see it very clearly in Peru where no brakes are applied on the process of social evolution. more bugs..

Dogs in the fog and donkeys and the song of flutes drifting above deep ravines. but you had to sneak in for a San Pedro ceremony (a ritual using the hallucinogenic flesh of a Peruvian cactus). Next to Australia. For the . but at least people there are honest somehow. It's a small island. no dance moves I can show you. orange juice squeezed in front of your eyes. hand-made cheese and dry figs and cool white milk from alpine pastures below the glaciers. you were born out of a moment of ecstasy. doesn't matter. steaming street food. There will be soft wooly lamas. My friend.. or even madness. Some in the 'civilized' world we call this superstition. Yes. a prayer of the heart is heard as music and memories locked in chains of DNA are freed. its more than you earn in a year. I am from New Zealand. potato fields tended at sixty degree angles. and there will be no tomorrow. Right. No.simply understood that you have witnessed a mystery beyond explanation. and well.. Magic is still very much alive in Peru. all beings belong to the land.” It might be a hell of wheels spinning out of control. you know. There is no technique. Yes. as the Peruvians themselves retain the quality of wide-eyed children who allow the inexplicable to exist as a matter of course. No. soot-faced highlanders wearing sandals made of old tires. Shavin is the birthplace of the cult formed around this rite.. what can you say? Amigos. such is life: down in your base chakra you feel a core of power. strung on an invisible thread. in which there was no control. You will be rich and miserable and work like a slave. Huxley's 'doors of perception' .are not fully closed there yet.the filters of the rational . Your rubber tourist smile will melt like butter in the heat of that veracity. but what truly moves you is your heart and its rhythm and song. you are in for a journey. I know. you don't want to go there. and a fresh breeze comes through from beyond them. its not Holland.. In Peru it is recognized as magic. I don't drink beer. the stone heads of jaguar-shaman in the museum of Shavin turn and look at you in approval as you teach the local football team how to dance at the night disco. When every cell in your body starts to resonate with the atoms in the clouds above and beyond. The ruins were closed to tourists for the night. One rides the great dragon above a landscape of undulating flesh. In dreams. herds of guinea pigs roaming under one-plank tables in mountain huts made of earth and straw. only love. growing on the bones of fore-fathers. Peru. waning and rising like a tide. you don't know where it is either. In this communion. more than a thousand dollars for aeroplane tickets. “ Thank you. And then you will sell your house and leave your best-laid plans aside and buy a ticket to Lima. boot polishers and traffic jams erupting in cacophanous joy.

All there is is just a continuous stream of ecstatic moments and no control. .Spanish word for tomorrow simply means that there is no such thing.

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