You develop a sense of vulnerability in that you no longer feel you are invincible. You take nothing, no breath and no day, for granted. To many ancient societies this made you special. It made you Religious. It gave you Empathy. It gave you Intelligence because you were forced to learn instead of hunt.
As I stand still, hoping for the best, the elderly lady motions to an elderly man sitting next to a tree behind where our time machine was once parked, which would explain why I didn't see him earlier. He approaches me, and as he does I hear the clicking of the many necklaces around his neck. Other than the necklaces he is in the nude, a sign he is pure. As he approaches I smell strong ointments. He touches my shoulder with a firm grip, and inspects my chest. He watches my breathing, and then stands back.
Speaking slowly, softly, he says: "What taboo did you break? What offense did you commit to offend the spirits? What dreams have you had? Has anything suspicious happened to you? Has anyone looked at you with an evil eye? Do you have enemies who mean you harm and could have sought witchcraft against you?" (2)
"I have sinned," I say, knowing that's what he suspects anyway.
He closes his eyes, and makes many motions with his hands. He speaks something in a dialect your tarnslator cannot detect. He places a palm on your forehead and speaks many words. You're puzzled.
"It's your diagnosis," says the old lady. "And your cure."
He removes one of of the necklaces from his neck, and places it in your palm. While doing so he chants something, and slowly walks away.
"It's an amulet, an object of healing," the elderly lady says, obviously seeing my blank stare. "The incantation will assure the spirits recognize it."
My breath didn't come back right away, yet at least I knew I was respected by this tribe.
"If you survive, which you surely will after you suffer a while, your wisdom will be sought," the lady says.
"No disrespect, but I hope not. I'd prefer to go home where my inhalers wait," I think this, and decide to say a simple, "Thank you!"
By her recommendation I spend the next few days eating lighly and praying often. Yet I also sleep lightly, which adds to my anxiety. And just when my breath comes back, and I can appreciate spending time with these fine people, the time machine POOFs! back into view.
These people healed me how they knew how to heal. While we may think of their medicine as irrational, to them it is perfectly rational. It's what was needed to live peacefully in a world filled with hundreds of thousands of wandering souls searching for a person to make sick.