It is El Salvador the place where I learned my first and most enduring lessons, where life first met me and revealed shadows and mysteries, joys and miseries. It was in the jungle and the volcano, not in the snowy peak of gentle Japanese mountains, that nature surrounded me with the song of birds, the scorching heat of the sun, the clear dark of starry nights. It was here that the unknown rained from vast darkness unto the panic beauty of nights without electricity an the perennial presence of the Duende, the voyeuristic games of the Cipitio, and the dreadful curse of the Cihuanaba. In its cities I smelled blood, touched death, and tasted static mystery. It wasn’t the profound calm of zen but the torrid emotions of the human and tropical jungle that forged my joy for life, my avid desire for experience, and my sense of self.
More than anything, it is here in the war and the full beauty of that valley of hammocks that I came first to sense the seed of self that exists before I was born and that shall endure well after this body and that country are long dissolved and forgot. That place is then my origin and therefore my end (as an Aristotelean telos, not as a tomb). In stories as in mathematics, the end is contained in the beginning. The egg contains the potentiality of the being, and in the being is the solution to the puzzle of evolution.