Saturday, October 6, 2012
San Diego #4: Hieroglyphics
Mom says they're hieroglyphics. My first thought is, "how can 'Russ+Mari' and 'Ashley M' and 'Sue' and all the other signatures and lover's initials tattooed into the rock possibly be hieroglyphics?" But she's right. 100, 200 years from now, people will visit this spot––archeologists, historians, maybe––and puzzle over these carvings. Study them, wnder who carved them and why. What was going on in their life at that moment? What do all these strange letters mean? Who knows if we will even speak the same language 200 years from now; perhaps these letters will be recognized as no more than symbols. So people will come and and try to put meaning, some significance behind these carvings. Make them out to be more than they are; perhaps a map, or a story, or some sort of code. We will not be around to tell them these symbols and characters they are studying are nothing more than names of the everyday people and lovers, trying to make heir mark. But that's okay, because who are we to ruin their fun?
What will people think, 500 years from now? What will go in their history books? What will children learn in school? What will they think of us, and our styles? Will they think our clothes laughable, appalling, #1 on the DO NOT WEAR list? Will our styles become part of their School Spirit week? At what point will our clothes become vintage? When will our furniture become retro? I laugh to think of the day when I will tell my kids, "I remember back in my day..." My children will be embarrassed looking through my old yearbooks; I'll be embarrassed. But of course at the time I feel "hip" and "in" and "with it."
Looking at the hieroglyphics is like watching a history film. I wish I could be like the book "Gosammer" by Lois Lowry, and flash back to every person who ever entered this cave. Touch the initials and be brought back to that moment. How far back would it bring me? One year marks '78, but there must be ones dating farther back. I would love to see who Russ and Mari were. Were they a young couple on their honeymoon? Or were they two summer lovers, and perhaps this carving is the only proof of their summer fling. But they were here, and they were in love. Looking around, there were lots of people in love. And that is a comforting thing.