In Sparks, Nevada, I was eating a IHOP breakfast of French toast sprinkled with powdered sugar. "Last week it was 70. Today's gonna be in the 90s," the waitress said, following my eyes outside to mountains still capped with snow. I knew I had left New Mexico too late—Las Vegas had been 108. A few hours from the Oregon border, I could smell the cool rain dripping through leaves of impossibly tall trees.

Later that day, in California a freight train's long string of graffitied cars paralleled the road. With tears in my eyes, I remembered a bowl of 4,000-year-old noodles was found in northwestern China, and a spokesman for the Chinese Academy of Sciences said that ‘this is the earliest empirical evidence of friends I left more than two decades ago, and with whom I didn't stay in touch.

In 1837, Heinrich Heine wrote to a friend, "You know that I stand for the autonomy of art which must not be the valet of either religion or politics, but on the contrary its own end, like the world itself." Although the poet is open to the accusation of "art for art's sake," he implies a larger context than creating "product" for dealers and wealthy art collectors.

Given the tenuous thread of survival in Paleolithic environments, such acts as crawling into a cave to paint a personal vision would have been courting death from exile. In these conditions, every thing would have been made within, and
for the benefit of, a dense entanglement of tribal relationships.

While It may be true that a certain amount of images were procured from shamanic journeys, probably triggered by drumming, psychedelic plants, fasting, or sensory deprivation, Said agrees that Beethoven's late works 'remain unco-opted by a higher synthesis' as ‘'they do not fit any scheme, and they cannot be reconciled and resolved, since their irresolution and fragmentariness are constitutive, would the visions have been seen as projections, or as the prescient chill of who we all really are?