Posts Tagged storytelling

Listening for Echoes

I love antiquities. The smell of dust is an aphrodisiac to me. Ancient places and endless vistas fire my imagination like nothing else. The threshold of human interest in the production of beautiful objects and the value ascribed to exotic materials (read labor-intensive to acquire here), extends back at least 75,000 years.

Museums exert a special type of gravitational pull that require my physical presence. It’s like a vortex. I enter and disappear as though swallowed by some monstrous creature. Only libraries can challenge the lure and to be honest, even books lose out to antiquities. Give me a box of artifacts and a corner to hoard them in, I’ll be blissful. Mine. MINE.

My family is accustomed to this behavior. College friends knew it was about to happen when I took my foot off the gas pedal and veered toward an exit. People still joke about my radar for old things. Gravity is hard to deny.

History is attached to objects. Stories waiting to be heard if you can only get close enough to hear the whispers. Stretch your mind and coax an echo out of time. There are so many tales waiting.

Like lost languages longing to be heard again, the words are contained within the scraps of papyri, carved into great chunks of marble, knapped into flint and obsidian lithics, delicately incised on bone and stone, and ground into strings of shell beads.

The ancient world was filled with amazing achievements and architectural wonders that have succumbed to history. Too few  rediscover the sophistication of the human past. Around the world the arts of our ancestors sit, waiting for the ear that listens, holding all our prehistory in their details.

Don’t you want to know? What museums are within your reach? Visit one now. Today. Get in the car and go. Celebrate your rich heritage. Post a vignette of your cultural tradition. Offer up a nugget of history. Tell me about the greatest achievements of your ancestors. What did they construct? What did they create? What stories have survived the centuries?

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