Friday, April 1, 2011

Pay Attention to the Archeological, Please

Well, City Boy, that will learn ya not to slap a man chewing tobacco. (Sorry, April 1st comes but once a week and the date made me do it.)

The Smithsonian Magazine came yesterday; it’s now amost supper. Maybe I should pour a big glass of red wine. At issue is this: would it be for celebration or to numb out before I start to read?

Case in point. Page 9. An artist’s drawing.
                Dinosaurs began reproducing early. Some females had not yet 
                reached mature body size when they started laying eggs…
An Allosaurus. Now I know – or have read – more about dinosaurs than I do about the family whispers that one of my greats and greats came to America from Norway.

As to the article “Something New Under Sun,” I find that,
                The sun’s field is full of curves and kinks, and every eleven years, 
                it flips: the north becomes the south, then back to north again eleven 
               years later…”

It is almost reassuring in “Shifting the Sacred Ground,” to read that one sectarian took a bulldozer and put a trench right down through the Holy Ground – forbidden even to archeologists - then had it taken it out in dump trucks for heaping. Now the professionals are sifting through the mess, pan in one hand and water hose in the other. But: there are volunteers.
                ..…even ultra-Orthodox Jews, who traditionally oppose archaeological 
                excavations in the Holy Land. “They say all the evidence is in the [scripture] 
                sources, you don’t need physical proof”….
When reading an article like that do you sometimes find yourself staring off into space? Just thinking. Just wondering.

I confess that I find some comfort in just being aware of those pictures along side of this page. Here is a classical painter turning a devastating event into such a thing of beauty that we become aware that a turning point in Western Civilization is in the making. I feel again the beaten-outness of soldiers, heads in hands; of young women finally trying to learn to walk, perhaps never to feel pretty again. I, too, know there are persons roping together through danger and death. I know too, deep inside, that in the midst of dark clouds and troubled sea there is someone who had both the technology and sense of combining the clash and contrast of elements to grasp a realization of beauty.  Someone? No, some ones. And twos. And twenties.

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