Sometimes, on clear nights like tonight, I look up at the moon and stars and think about how people have looked up at the moon and stars for centuries before me, and how their lives were so different. Did ancient people question their place in the universe? Did they have doubts about their purpose here? Was such a concept even part of their vocabulary?
Today, archealogists scrabble through the dirt looking for pieces of pottery, broken tools, altars of worship, or anything else the ancients left behind. We want to know what they believed and how they lived. But why? Is it to show how far we’ve come? How progressive we are? Maybe. Or maybe we know that they knew things we have forgotten. Important things that we shouldn’t have forgotten, but did, and we hope that if we find their artifacts there’ll be some clue there in the dirt and we can rediscover what we’ve lost.
They looked up to a moon and stars and planets and comets and saw more than we did. There were no skyscrapers blocking their view. There was no light pollution hiding all but the brightest stars. Did you know that the planet we call Mars, named for the Roman god of war, which is an avatar for the Greek god of war, is the same star the ancient Mayans assigned to their god of war? How can it be that two civilizations an ocean apart could do that?
They lived closer to the land, our ancient ancestors. The earth was a living thing, usually a goddess, sometimes a god or giant or snake or the body of something older than the gods, even. To them, seasons were not determined by a time for sun bathing or snow tires. They lived with the earth, not simply on it, and to be able to name a thing was to have some magic over it. We have lost that magic, traded it for Internet and cell phones and giant chicken breasts that are more laboratory-produced hormones than meat.
Is it a good trade? Silly question as I sit in a climate-controlled house typing my silliness onto a laptop to publish it on a weird, invisible web where it will be read by people I don’t even know.
Well, this will end my hippie talk for now. This concept is something I’m exploring in Nadia’s Children, the next book of The Werewolf Saga, but I guess if you care you can read that … if I ever finish it.