the number of times i think about the full body viking skeleton i saw in the museum is ridiculous like when i say it haunts me i mean it actually haunts me
every time i remember the questions are endless — what was his name? what did his mother call him? what sounds did he wake up to? what sounds did he die to? how old was he when he died? how old when he fell in love? how old when he first fell out? who cried with him and laughed with him? who cried for him? how many miles of separation can i draw between my ancestors and him? was he kind, serious, jokey? was he sombre or impulsive? was he chatty and good-humoured or a cantankerous asshole? like…i have never stopped thinking about this.
the fact that at one point in time this was a living breathing person. with memories and petty hates and the dumbest jokes. and friends he loved. and the fact that he probably at some point burst out into drunken song or punched someone in an argument or GOT punched in an argument or tripped into the mud while his friends pissed themselves laughing or or or or…countless or‘s into infinity
and the fact that before all of that this massive skeleton was tiny toddler (was he scared of the dark? did he squabble with his siblings? did he have siblings?) who may or may not have hid behind his mother or probably got hoisted onto an adult’s shoulders and in his little mind thought this person was the strongest human in the world and that he could hold the whole sky up just by standing there like that and as long as he was up there he was king of the world or could be.
like…what am i supposed to do with this? what does ANYONE do with this? how are you supposed to cope with the enormity of this while at the same time realising just how tiny and fleeting our lives are? there is literally more than a THOUSAND years between us & ALL of it has been pinched down to a glass case not even 2 inches thick like…i’m losing my mind.
I got this feeling when I saw some petroglyphs on the side of a cliff like.. a human made those. That human felt all of the emotions I feel they went through the same universal human experience and they each had vivid internal lives and memories. Wild.
ok this is next level and i honestly…i honestly can’t
during my prehistory module we got given Roman pottery and roofing slabs that had thumb prints in the handles and I put my thumb over those thumb marks and cried in the middle of the tutorial
I do pottery, and it’s one of my favorite things about the medium: that you can often see the shape of someone’s fingers in the surface. I love it when someone just shoves a finger somewhere while throwing, and leaves it there as a place for YOU to put your finger. Little thumbrests on top of mug handles is a fave.
“How did you make those ridges like that on the outside? How did you make that spiral on the bottom?”
“With my fingers.”
All of this.
At Wells Cathedral in England the stairs down from the chapter house have had dips worn into their stone by centuries of human feet taking the most direct route up and down.
Thinking about the immense distances between the stars makes me panic, but looking back into human history gives me peace.
Reminds me of when we got to see this exposition on ancient egypt.
I was like, “Wow a real life papyrus!”
but then my mom said, clearly moved, “Wow, that’s someone’s handwriting.”
That moment when History becomes People.
“Why study History? If you don’t like knowing the models of every airplane and gun ever made for ww2 that’s how history nerds are”
Oh there is so much humanity reaching out to us to take us by the hands and say
“We dreamed of you and hoped you too would be!”