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Thursday, November 8, 2012

NaBloPoMo #8: Art And Architecture Can't Hold A Candle To The People That Created Them

Prompt: If you could have any job (and instantly have the training and qualifications to do it), which job would you want?

I missed my calling. I may have studied Theatre, worked jobs in all walks of consumer and corporate America, fancy myself a writer and blog my heart out, but what I really am deep down inside is a cultural anthropologist. 

I remember from my earliest school days being fascinated with the pyramids in Egypt and the ruins of Pompeii. Not for the architecture, mind you, impressive as it all is. I wanted to go there so I could touch the stone, put my hand on it maybe even in a place that someone touched thousands of years ago. I consider that the closest thing to time travel. Who were the people that lived there? What were they like? What did they eat? Wear? Dream about? I want to know them all, intimately.

A decade or so ago, I took a trip to Ellis Island. The history of the place is amazing, and I really enjoyed the exhibits about the people that swelled the halls and the workers who processed them all. As I wandered through the informational panels and artifacts, I was drawn to one particular wall with one simple word upon it.


It was scrawled in childish hand, and they left it there as a reminder of the thousands of schoolchildren who made  the journey to a new life with their families. I reached out and placed my fingers gently on that one tiny name, and  I felt Pasquale touch me across the years. His hopes, his fears, his very life vibrating through those letters left on a wall and reaching across time to pull me into his story.

We all have a story. Mine is still being written, but someday, maybe someone will touch my name on a wall or read my words in a book or a blog and feel me. Get me. Know me, a bit. 

And then I can be what I've always really wanted to be: a time traveler.

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