Sunday, July 24, 2011

Maybe It Once Kissed A Pomegranate

Life has been a bit nutty lately in ways that I can't blog about because it all involves other people whose privacy I will not violate.

But I am sorry I haven't blogged much lately.  I feel like my writing is finally starting to go somewhere, then I don't have enough time, or sometimes, enough energy to blog/tweet/Facebook to share stuff with people and move forward on it.  Oh well.  Plenty of time ahead left for self marketing, right?  Sometimes you just have to deal with what's right in front of you.

Then a story like this one on Yahoo News catches my eye, and my imagination runs riot.  That's how it works for me. An archaeologist finds a tiny golden bell that once adorned someone's robe in a sewer in Old Jerusalem, and my imagination takes over.

Whose robe once tinkled with this bell?  A priest in a holy procession?  A wealthy woman on her way to see her lover?  Did the owner of this bell realize the moment when it was lost, when it fell from the robe and bounced into the sewer? Did Jewish rebels, using those sewers to flee Roman legions while their beloved city and temple were razed back in 70 AD sneak past where that golden bell lay in the muck?  Did a rat once mistake it for food down there?  The Bible describes priestly garments being adorned with such bells, hanging between decorative pomegranates. Does this bell remember the pomegranate it once kissed? If it could speak, could we hear the ancient sermons it listened to?

This is why I love archaeology and history.  It makes me think about the people of those times - about their losses and loves, their tragedies and transcendent moments.  It's been a rough week or year or decade for the world. Madmen take the lives of innocents, children starve while politicians create unnecessary roadblocks to progress, temperatures rise, polar bears can't swim far enough, self hatred leads to self destruction, illness strikes, and frightened people hurt others because they know no other way.

In the past this all happened too. They were people like us (okay, maybe with worse teeth and shorter lifespans), and their stories are now gone, except for hints like this little golden bell. It's left to us to imagine and remember.

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