“Marijuana grows everywhere, serves a thousand different functions, all of them positive. To make marijuana against the law is like saying God made a mistake.” – Bill Hicks.
A ‘true’ story.
The year is 2 million years BC and a lone Homo Habilis is sat on the outskirts of his settlement by a burning field. The reason the field is on fire is not recorded; although fire has been discovered by this point in history, discarded cigarettes are still a long way off, and anyway the method of ignition is irrelevant, let’s just say it was an act of an as yet undetermined deity.
His friend approaches him.
“Hey Wanna, what you doing?”
Wanna doesn’t look around, he is staring intently at the fire.
“Just, you know, sitting.”
“But that field of bushy spikey leaved plants is on fire, the smoke is blowing straight at you.”
“The smoke Wanna, the smoke! You’ll die from complications brought on through respiratory disease caused by smoke inhalation. Come on get away from that burning field of bright green, slightly hairy plants and that pungent black smoke.”
Wanna turns to his friend with a look of slightly droopy eyed surprise “Hey, Marej, when did you get here? Have you got any food? Look man.”
He lazily waves his hand in the direction of the field.
“Can you see the flames? Just look at all the pretty colours. Look, can you see? They’re dancing to their own tune man.”
“What? Have you lost your mind? This smoke, it’s so thick, I can barely see, I can hardly breathe. Come on, let’s get out of here….Ooh, hey are those faces? Look, can you see faces in the smoke?”
“Yeah man, dancing faces, they’re dancing with the flames.”
“Wow, this is awesome, this is incredible, I can see why you’re sitting here now, I’ve never seen anything so beautiful. Do you mind if I join you?
“Pull up a bit of dirt man, Can you hear the music?”
“Oh yeah, now that you mention it, it’s a snappy crackly popping beat, I like it.”
“The flames like it too, and the faces, the faces love it, this is the music of nature, we’ve found our groove man.”
“Look at that smoke dance dude, it’s really going for it. Look at the flames, you can see the black centre, the heart of the flame, wow isn’t nature amazing!”
“It is indeed man. It is indeed. Do you know, sitting here, seeing all this, listening to the beat, it’s got me thinking, wondering, you know”
“Wondering what Wanna?
“You know, what is it all about? I mean why we are here, what purpose do we serve, what are we meant to be doing, is there a reason for all this?”
Wanna waves his hands around to try to indicate ‘all of this’, but only manages a bit of this as he falls backwards onto the grass mid wave. He stays there, it seems comfortable.
“Mmm, that’s is a heavy question dude! But it’s a good question I’ll give you that, a very good question indeed, and to be honest I’ve not thought about it before until this very moment. Off the top of my head, and don’t hold me to this, I’m just brainstorming here, I reckon I can answer that.
“Yup, do you know what I think dude? I think there is no purpose, no meaning and absolutely no objectives to achieve. We are here, because we are here. We have no independent role, nor definable goals and no discernable reason for being on this big flat circle of dirt. What purpose do the birds or animals have? None, other than to just keep it all going, keep things moving along. We are just like them dude, we are just part of that machine, nature. Our role, is the same as everything else, and if it were to be clearly defined by a yet undiscovered celestial governing body it would simply be, to be. That’s it to be.”
“What do you mean? To be?”
“I mean, to be one with our environment, to live and breathe and procreate and have fun, to survive, to be inquisitive, to explore, to live and let live and most of all to just be, to be a part of everything and master of nothing. To just live symbiotically and peacefully with and within the environment around us.”
“Wow, heavy answer man”
“I know, I’ve surprised myself, but it was a heavy question dude. I sometimes think though, do we need all this technology? Like yeah a sharpened stone is useful, but weren’t we better off before we got obsessed with the latest hand axe, or digging stick. Weren’t things much simpler when we survived with what we were born with? Instead of coming up with all this new stuff all the time. The animals seem to do all right without it.”
“But we need some technology Marej, what about spears, we definitely need spears, I mean how would we defend ourselves against that settlement of other Homo Habilis over yonder hill?”
He attempted to wave at yonder hill, but failed apathetically.
“Defend? What do we need to defend against? We are the same people, born under the same big bright circle, we have no need to fight, we are both but one with nature, all beasts on the ground, birds in the air and fish in the sea. We don’t fight the fish, we don’t do battle with the birds, why should we hassle our fellow Homo Habilis?”
“I don’t know, but what if they want to come over the hill and take the funny shiny rocks that we’ve collected from the stream bed? We’ve got to be prepared to prevent that.”
“Why would they want to take that pile of rocks? They came from the stream, yes they look pretty and shiny, but surely they were created by the ground we all walk on, as we were? They are a part of everything, in the same way that we are. We don’t own them, everything owns them. Let’s just give them half and say “Hey guys we found these funny rocks, do you want some?”
“It’d certainly solve all the arguments and argy-bargy down at ‘shiny yellow rock stream’ on a Saturday afternoon”
“By jove Marej, I think you are right, you’ve hit the thin stick at its upper fatter end. We don’t need all this technology and bling cluttering our lives, it distances us from one another and from nature. It makes us jealous of each other, it complicates things. We should get back to basics; try remember what is important in life. It’s not about the speed of your slingshot, or how big your pile of shiny rocks is; it’s about love and family and happiness and being one with nature, and all that other stuff you just said.”
“You got it Wanna! Now this smoke is really getting to me man, I’m hungry, but I might just lie down for a moment”
“I’m with you there dude, just a few minutes rest and then lets’ go forage for some roots”
Marej lies down. The two friend are silent for a moment, each both bursting with joy and excitement at their discovery. Through smoke weary eyes they stare at the sky.
“I’ve never thought like this before Wanna”
“Me neither Marej, but I think we are onto something. Do you think the smoke is doing this to us?”
“I think it is, I think this smoke might be nature’s way of helping us unlock our minds, broadening our horizons, opening our eyes to the bigger picture, you know, allowing us a glimpse into the secrets of this world.”
“Shit man, we gotta tell people about this.”
“What? About the smoke?”
“Yeah, of course we gotta tell em about the magic smoke, but we’ve got to tell the story, we’ve worked it out. Life doesn’t have to be so stressful, so competitive, or so angry. Jeez man. We’ve found the answer, the real answer, and it’s nothing to do with pointed sticks and shiny rocks…”
Sadly our tale ends here, the two friends were found the next morning, stoned dead with huge satisfied, contemplative grins on their faces, and no discernable cause of death. They never got to share their joint discovery, the reason, the true reason why we are on this big circle of dirt. This died with them due to complications brought on by excessive smoke inhalation.
Their families and friends buried them at the spot they lay, just in front of the burned out field of the mysterious green spikey leaved plant, and in memory of their lost loved ones they erected a piece of wood carved with their names in the language of the time. It simply said “Marej a’ Wanna”.
After a brief service, a few drinks,a selection of root vegetables cut into triangles and some awkward conversations with distant relatives they got back to the serious and important work of inventing things and developing an (at the time) advanced system of neighbourhood watch. Sadly the tribe didn’t live to see the field regrow, or partake in the pleasures of the magic smoke as they were savagely butchered by their neighbours one night over an argument about who owned the sparkly clear bits in the rocks by the mountains.