12 May The Camel
If you say, “Don’t go to the oasis”
If you say, “There’s hardly any water
at the oasis”
If you really don’t want the camel at
the oasis, then
The camel will go to the oasis
If you say, “Why don’t you go to the oasis”
If you say, “I don’t understand why you don’t
go to the oasis”
If you say, “Look, You, there’s water at
Then the camel will squat beside you
in the sun.
The camel has sensitive skin, pretty but sensitive,
that burns when touched by falling rain. It burns after
other, even less substantial, contact. The camel has a
Only the dry desert air causes the camel no pain,
though dryness worsens his condition.
In fact, the camel’s condition began when he was cast
into the desert. Then he needed rain and other contact, and
his need increased. At the same time, the desert air worked
against the camel, making his skin sensitive.
The camel wants what it can’t tolerate, and tolerates
what it wants least. And this confusion of desires keeps
the camel on the move.
The camel is on the move constantly, toward water and
away, toward the suppliers of water and away, toward the
deniers of water and away. Toward and away from things it
can’t tolerate at all, and things it needs.
The camel’s problem is touching.