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 Post subject: Connected Through the Arts
PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2002 6:17 pm 

Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 11327
Location: San Diego, California, USA
I had a very interesting experience today. I have begun helping out (volunteering) as a docent in the rare book room (Wangenheim Room) at the San Diego Central Library. Besides greeting visitors and taking them around the artifacts and rare book exhibits, I usually have a project to work on.

Today the project was to set up in display boxes about 40 little stone pieces with cuneiform writing on them. Most were from Babylon a couple from Egypt. So, there I was in this lovely wood paneled room (temperature, light and humidity strictly controlled), Persian carpets on the floor, paintings, sculptures and rare beautiful books all around me. I am sitting at the large reading table placing these ancient artifacts with human writing in their boxes.

Human writing...touched by a human hand so long ago - 2600BC - 2600BC, that's 4600 years old! And I am touching them, too. One can't help but wonder who that person was who wrote this, how did he live? Was he sitting on the sandy floor of a little shop scratching out the cuneiform shapes to send a message to someone far away? Was he a government tax collector giving receipts and making tax bills?

What kind of home did he go to at the end of the day - what did he eat? I can vaguely picture some of his life from what I have read, but he would have a hard time imagining mine. This medium through which I am communicating this to you, for instance.

He probably didn't know about the Pacific Ocean, or maybe not even how large the Atlantic is. Nor the polar ice caps, nor the Americas....could he imagine a man on the moon?

We have so little of the outer effects in common, but we do have our humanity in common. I know he had music, and dance, and art. And he would probably recognize that in my world too. When I touch that stone that he touched, we are not connected through the tides of wars, but through the arts.

It was quite an experience. From that I went home on the I that much better off? :)

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