Write Lightning is a blog from writer Deb Thompson.
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Mon, Mar 17 2014

A St. Patrick's Day rambling on memory and societal assumptions

I had a blog subject nicely tucked into my mind and then I put off writing down my thoughts. I had my hands full of items and had no pen, no paper and no device on which to put a voice reminder. Now I can only hope the thought returns to me in some idle moment.

I recall hearing tales of people using their own blood to sign correspondence or add their name to treaties or sworn oaths. These tales are often chilling and are filled with threats and dire consequences held over the heads of those who don't keep their word. There are times when I doubt that this was true and that the participating parties simply had no immediate access to ink and so were afraid of losing either the document or their nerve, so they seized the moment and cut open their arm or hand in order to seal the deal with a long-lasting, colored liquid.

I realize that last paragraph might be cringe-worthy and highly charged with religious and cultural taboo. I don't intend to offend. I simply take the opportunity to point out that a lot of our archeological and anthropoligical discoveries may mistakenly attribute items (or events) to some other-worldly influence or idol worship, when the truth of the matter might be that a preferred item or proper medium was simply not at hand at the perfect moment. People in snowy climates often grab a credit card to scrape frost off a car windshield in the driveway before they drive to work. Some discoverer could find this card centuries from now and might suppose that the plastic item held significance as a charm placed in front of homes to ward off evil spirits, when the truth is that the driver dropped the card in a snow bank beside the driveway, was in too much of a hurry to look for it and drove on to work. The temperature rose, the snow melted and the returning worker rolled over the card with the car and pushed the thing into the mud. He never remembered to look for it. It remained there for many generations near the crumbling remains of the home until any researcher finding it could only speculate on what purpose the little piece of rectangular plastic served in some distant past.

And then there's the other question. What will the researchers consider when they find an actual old, plastic and rusty-bladed ice scraper that bears the faded remains of a message that is actually an advertisement imprinted on its handle?

Brown Mortuary and Chapel: Professional End-of-life Assistance

posted at: 15:21 | category: /Writing Life | link to this entry

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Stealin' copy is as bad as horse-thievin'
and cattle rustlin'! Lightning may strike
such varmints when they least expect it!