Keep the River to your Right.
He took off all his clothes and walked into the Amazon jungle, in search of head hunters.
He was tired of the world in which he lived. It wasn’t that he was tired of life, but he wanted to live in a different world, to challenge everything he had ever been told about life and about people, and see it in a different way.
No guarantees, no backup plan, no helicopter waiting to pick him up, no “Reality Show” bullshit, all he had was a desire to enter a new world, and make it his own.
He was a successful artist. But something impelled him to leave behind his career, his friends, and possibly his head to enter into an unknown place.
Some said that Tobias Schneebaum had lost his shadow, and went in search of it.
He walked into an encampment of amazon head hunters naked and unarmed, wearing only his shoes and a smile. They recognized his peace, and adopted him. If he had walked up to them wearing his old clothes, taking all the precautions that a civilized person is supposed to take, they would have killed him on the spot. What saved him was the fact that he was wearing their clothes. He came naked, and so he lived.
From that day, he ate with them, slept with them, defecated with them and loved with them.
He learned their skills and hunted with them.
He learned that they weren’t primitive at all, but possessed relational and logical skills equal to his own. Their social organization was very different from the European model that many of us have been taught is the “natural” mode.
In the tribal group with which he now lived, all the women and small children lived and slept at one end of the encampment, and the men and older boys at the other. Everyone slept together, more or less in a big pile, and while there was much casual sexual camaraderie at night, it was not considered an issue. The begetting of children was pretty much done by appointment.
While there is not record of the women’s activity, there is no reason to believe that it was any different for them.
Sometimes by jumping into a different life, you can find yourself.
There have been times I’ve looked into a man’s eyes, and seen myself there, living in an alien land more familiar than my own.
Encountering different worlds …