“Oh!” The first entrance ticket I received that was more than a utilitarian piece of paper was a pleasant surprise. It was likely in Egypt though I’m not sure anymore. Since that time, random museum or historical site tickets have accompanied me back to the States. When I see them, I sometimes wish I’d kept a list and wonder how many I’ve seen, how many works of art, artifacts, churches and temples, fortresses and palaces.
Ancient rocks call me to witness. They shoulder up through the earth, refugees of continent wars, remnants of fire, survivors of wind and water. These bones of earth hold stories within stories even before humans broke them down and built them up again. Rocks upon rocks are the remaining witnesses to who we used to be.
I’ve seen them and wondered on the human need of monument to god and king. Alone in sun or shade, rain and wind, I still myself and see. We are as fireflies to the bones of earth. My hand on amethyst, alabaster, basalt, coal, limestone, lapis, marble, malachite, sandstone, serpentine, and shale is but an atom’s weathering. That atom’s weathering hand by hand, season by season is still allowed, some times, some places.
Touch and touched, people now as of old, don’t credit my stories as real. “Oh, she’s fae, touched and fanciful. No one has seen those places.” But I have. Ancient rocks, Stonehenge, Giza, Hawara, Saqqara, Tulum, Taxila, Athens, Rome, Petra, Juresh, and more, and more of the Pharaonic, Greek, Roman, Inca, Maya, Moghul, Persian, Khmer, and more than the citizens or even the conquerors ever saw of their own realm. The honor to witness is mine without ever knowing why this unmerited favor was granted me.
Continents apart, I sat on a ridge above a California bay filling the San Andreas fault, creating a picture of serenity above an active front in the continent war. I stood on ridges in Jordan and Kenya with valleys below, a soft cover on the volcanos of the Great Rift Valley. In Kenya, steam rises from vents and the molten rock below bellows before the battle. To them, infinitely small and gone in a blink, this insignificant human is a dust mote, blown away on a breeze. It matters not to them what I’ve seen.