Tuesday, August 31

folk just like us

University of Pennsylvania Museum of Anthropology and Archeology
Syrian gold jewelry 1300 - 1200 BCE

I love to go to museums filled with ancient things ~ I find it refreshing to wrap my mind around the fact that, in many ways, those folk were just like us. They looked like us, had bodies like us, had hang-ups about their bodies, got frustrated when they lost things, were late for dinners, and liked a day off, just like us.

In a way going to the museum is also a little scary. Entire inventive, creative and intelligent cultures, gone forever. Just like, one day, we will be. Because we are living in the midst of life and time, and that's how things work.

In one display I saw a little pair of metal tweezers. 4,ooo year old tweezers from Egypt. I can almost see the ghost of the woman who put them down for the last time, so long ago. Makeup pots and a jewelry box were there too, hauntingly similar to mine on my dresser at home.

Every item, shaped by a human hand, made for a purpose. Shaped from the earth in clay or stone or metal or wood. Every item has a responsiveness to it because it has been formed by human hands, and used by human hands. I love how natural materials respond so gently to the touch, forming themselves smoother or shinier over the years like driftwood under the caresses and grips of our fingers and palms.