The following is the original and the rewrite can be found by clicking here.
I did a very "city thing" on the weekend and went to the museum. I've been there many times before, but this is the first time since I started my "city living experiment"; it seemed my new city perspective guided me differently as I walked the halls.
In the past, I tended to find myself staring at the bones of giant creatures that inhabited the earth hundreds of millions of years ago, imaging their ferocity and wondering if I could out run them if the need arose. This time however, I seemed to wander the years a little closer to home... 4000 BC to 300 AD. Sumeria, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, Ancient Israel, Rome - All great civilizations of the past.
Artifacts, instead of bones, would tell the story and feed the imagination; mosaics, pottery, glass, fine jewelry, paintings, sculptures, architecture, tools and weapons, as well as all of the utensils, furniture and trappings of every day life... all recognizable, and narratives for those kindred spirits through all the years.
For me, it was the simplest of things that ignited my imagination... the numerous examples of "oil lamps" that seemed to fill the display cases, irrespective of civilization or century; small containers of various shapes and ornateness that used animal fat to illuminate the world.
I could not help but imagine someone 4000 years ago, their oil lamp by their side pushing back the darkness as they wrote down their thoughts, crafted something of importance, shared ideas or visualized their dreams and wishes for a better day - A symbol that bound them, independent of time or place.
Engraved on the outside of the Royal Ontario Museum are the words, "THE ARTS OF MAN THROVGH ALL THE YEARS", which shamefully I had never noticed before, but will not soon forget. These words remind us that we are part of a community that has stretched past our ability to remember the countless individuals that came before us, except of course, though those "ARTS" they created and used; it is in this, their legacy seems to be secure.
Literally or figuratively we must light that lamp, push back the darkness and write down our thoughts, craft things of importance, share ideas or visualize the dreams and wishes for a better day - An ongoing need to contribute to "THE ARTS OF MAN", as someone, 2000 years from now, will be looking and imaging us in the darkness with the light of the computer on our faces.
Next week, a trip to the art gallery.