The ancestors take on magical qualities in my
dreams. I do not see them as mostly afraid. I can hear the
laugh. I can see the smile. To qualify them in the grand
dialectic, I think of them as impertinent. The sort that would enjoy a
good quarrel before deciding upon which mammoth to beat up on. And
the kind to everyday invent new gods with their breakfast cereal.
But established wisdom will suggest this image a false one.
That movement out of the forest was not a journey of imagination.
Rather it was a slow, multi-generational amble that would have included a
genetic change. The furry thing did not suddenly walk on two legs,
discuss climate and procrastinate.
life was cruel. An injury would fester and painful death would
ensue. Food uncertain. The nights dark. All of which are
the impetus behind our current circumstances.
Yet, while I know we live longer, I "want to think" we are frail compared to the ancestors.
I "want to think" we cry more than they did. I "want to
think" they would see our idea
of happiness as stifling, our concept of a good life peculiar. And,
I "want to think" that in their vocabulary they had a word for
'prisoner' that would describe our endurance perfectly.
Granted our 'enduring', has been anointed by a long
multi-generational struggle. Granted we see it as 'progress' or
'civilization' or 'providence'. And granted men and women and children
die for it.
However, my four "want to thinks", put me
firmly in the category of "old fart". Which is fine, but
which should never be an excuse.