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Jumping from boulder to boulder and never falling, with a heavy pack, is easier than it sounds; you just can't fall when you get into the rhythm of the dance.

Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums, 1958


Most people don't like being animals. Strange, that, but it gets weirder. Somehow it always does get weirder. That makes some odd kind of sense when what you're thinking about is what we never call the infra- or sub- and often call the super-natural. Fate is weird and weird is certainly our fate.

Even among folk who accept our kinship with the apes, those who (like Annie) notice and respond to emotions in animals are often accused of anthropomorphism. Since 'anima' in Latin means 'soul', it would make more sense to say that people at their finest are being animalistic.

Anthropocentrism we are all used to; it's just an extension of the casual racism that infests us. Since the term itself is, not to put too fine a point on it, anthropocentric, modern usage has developed the less elegant phrase 'species-centric' to generalize the point, but not far enough. We tend to be also genus-, family-, order-, class-, phylum-, kingdom- and even biology-centric.

We actually call the place we hang out the universe, as if there couldn't be any other.*

Gosh, we're awful.

Well, perhaps we can't help it.

The fact remains, however, that we stretch and bend and lean and twist, and sometimes we break, just like the earth underneath our feet. Every month the tides pull us this way and that, and some of us bleed and all of us sway through swings of mood. Often, like the earth, we bind ourselves to shapes that slowly, slowly lose their relevance until finally we crack and run screaming through the world to change and rip and tear and settle and bind and gentle back down to what we finally keep. For a while.

Rumbling discontent to lava to molds and cooling to another form.

Most of us don't much like thinking that we are part of this old planet.

Why should it be strange that the psychology of a person would match the geology of the earth?

*Thanks to Terry Pratchett for knocking the word 'multiverse' into my skull with his Discworld novels. It took a hardback edition to pound it in, but it was worth every penny I paid for it.**

**I borrowed it from Lucy.