Wednesday, 24 July 2013


I read a lot of history ranging from ancient Egypt through classical Europe, the Renaissance, the Napoleonic wars, right up to post-modern history of things such as the wars of the 20th century. I love history, the interplay and interweaving of events and actions, one triggering another, leading every onward into the woven tapestry that brings us to this day.

History is not a series of linear events; it is a mosaic of lives and deaths, war and peace, land and sea. It is tale upon tale of men and women and children, living, breathing, dying. No event, no action, no circumstance in the threads of time exists on its own. All are the result of actions on them. All result in actions flowing from them. That is the beauty of history. It is not a discreet event but a series of cross-linked actions, one shaping another down through the tunnel of time.

I wonder about myself in terms of history. My story is equally linked with the stories of so many others. My childhood was as impacted by the times as is my adulthood. I remember being a young boy, perhaps 10 years old, and having a local fireman ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I suspect he was disappointed when I said "astrophysicist". I suspect he was a bit befuddled when he asked me what that was. I remember telling him "someone who studies stuff that happens on other planets and stars." This was 1965; mankind had yet to put a man on the moon. That man in the firefighters suit was born in the depths of the Great Depression. His history had no notion of astrophysics.

My marriage and family life was part of that great historic sweep we call The Baby Boom. Just as I was marrying and rearing children, so were many of my cultural cohort. It was what we did, swept along in the time and tide of history and demographics. Demography is destiny and as such is the author of so much history. I, like billions of others, was born, married, raised children. And I will soon die.

What will history record of me? Little to nothing if time and tide reflect times and tides of the past. One hundred billion men and women have come and gone from this planet in the vast sweep of humanity's span. I am but a sand speck on a beach on a coast on a continent on a planet. The greatest of men and women from ages gone by are long forgotten. All that remains is today.

History, if the past is any indicator, will record little of me. Yet still I read.

1 comment:

  1. As long as we your family live on after you, you will be remembered and honored and loved my dear.