Story 1a - The Lateral Lattice of Hearts.
"I have been there only in my dreams," I replied. "Such
traveling is way beyond my means."
"Then you have missed a great opportunity to explore elements of love that are fast disappearing in our world. Peru is a beautiful country of steaming jungles, immensely high mountain ranges, deeply carved canyons, high river valleys, and rain forests reaching as high as 10,000 feet above sea level, and dessert like coastal lowlands that stretch endlessly along its 1,400 mile long coastline. Since 8000 B.C. human beings have made a living there, farming, fishing, raising livestock, getting wool from the alpaca and guanaco. The most beautiful part of Peru, however, are its people. When a people make a living in this vast and overwhelming place, they tend to become more supportive of one another, just to survive. This, too, is an element of love, and a beautiful element of it, and it's grand to be touched
Helen laughed before she continued. "Did you know that there are nearly as many people living in Mexico City right now, as in all of Peru? The human presence is so slight in this vast land, that the human being stands out more profoundly in a spiritual kind of beauty which one rarely finds in the crowded cities."
She told me that the sound of the panpipe draws together this vastly diverse land and its people, and echoes somewhat their common humanity. She said it was a treat to have been there, in more way than one. She spoke about the highland plains and Lake Titicaca with its floating villages of bundled reeds that support a water born culture 12,000 feet above sea level. She supposed that the floating villages were once built to escape invaders.
She also spoke about Machu Picchu, the fabled city in the clouds, of the once great Inca empire. When Europe began its Renaissance the Andean civilization saw the development of its greatest and possibly most benign empire ever. In the course of a single century the Inca had come to rule an area of the Andean region some 2,500 miles in length, until the Inca fell to the Spanish invaders a few decades before Europe itself was plunged into eighty years of warfare. When Napoleon invaded Spain, Peru's struggle for independence began. The struggle succeeded in the early 1820s, only to open the door to a string of civil wars, near anarchy, great suffering, economic degradation, followed by the War of the Pacific in 1879, and finally the rise of narco-terrorism in modern times. She said that in spite of all this, love
remained. That hadn't ended.
"The Andean people endured," said Helen and began to smile, "and their Inca legacy endured with them, works in silver, copper, gold, pottery, and especially textiles. Their beautiful creations are testaments of love. They are testaments of their humanity, of themselves, of their beautiful Soul. Their early hand weavings have never been surpassed to the present day, in beauty and fineness. They literally pioneered or predated every technique of modern textile manufacturing. The Inca had been builders and engineers; builders of roads, bridges, cities, temples, and fortifications. They had also been fine craftsmen, especially in the art of stone construction. All of this is still very much visible today, and I see in all of these beautiful creation a sense of love that must have existed in spite of the harsh times that often was a normal way of life."
Helen added, "Still, above all that soars the Condor, the great bird of the high Andes in which the people see an echo of their freedom and dominion that they value in their hearts, but have seldom ever attained. Nevertheless, they reach for it."
Helen pointed out that all of these human elements are elements of love,
which is not a love for something greater and beyond, but for what they are.
"All these countless little elements of love come together as but countless grains of sand on the seashore of truth,"
she added, "as they are mingling with the waters driven by winds that are powered by the universe itself."