Saturday, October 13, 2007

Lost in the Woods

The more and more time we all spend in our cities, the more we forget which way is which. And I don’t suppose Google maps are really helping that scenario. But like most complaints referring to how great the good old days were, its all a bunch of rubbish. People are no ruder today then they were fifty years ago, and kids have always listened to something that really doesn’t qualify as music. And, 2500 years ago people had absolutely no idea which way was north, south, east, or west.

I know this, and can state it with great certainty, because I spend my days lost in the woods of Xtobo. I keep following this road, but it keeps turning, and winding, and splitting (yes now it has a fork in it). Every step along the way provides one with a wonderful sense of the majesty of the ancient Maya engineers. You can see the precise straight lines that they were able to manage with no more than the simplest tools. And the lines stretch to beyond the horizon (or for the next 10 feet, you choose). In the end it’s simple, we’ve discovered the answer behind Xtobo’s twisting winding road to nowhere. They were lost, plain and simple, lost. They hoped if they just kept piling up rocks then everything would come out all right in the end. We may never know the fates of the road building crew, did they ever make it home, were they spoken of in hushed whispers, or championed as heroes who never gave in despite their perpetual lost-ness? But we do know one thing, they can certainly give a boy a headache.

Perhaps by next week a clearing will be found, and we will be able to see the sun and the stars again. Until then Dan and I will be cheered by our new companion Emit, who has come to see the wonders of Xtobo. We’re not quite sure if he believes our tales of the old days when we drank two gallons of water in a day to stay dehydrated, but he nods and smiles kindly at us “old hands.” I could tell you all about what happened when the subim ants came visiting yesterday, but I suppose all rookies have their days.


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