While in Arizona, we visited the site of an ancient pueblo that was a thriving community about 1,000 years ago. One of the most amazing sights at the pueblo was the ancient petroglyphs. They moved me–inexplicably–the way the sight of a breaching whale moves me. They expanded my consciousness and the sense of my place in the world.
I can relate to the human desire to leave a mark. Isn’t that why I write, after all? To leave something behind that another human might see and relate to? 1,000 years ago I’d have been right there scratching my heart out in the dark rock. Today I scratch my heart out onto my keyboard, but the basic urge is the same.
Of course, as we were leaving, Len and I had to conjure up an alternate scenario, as we often do. We recreated an adoloscent indian coming home with rock dust on his arms and his mother asking suspiciously, “Where have you been, young man? Defacing public property again?? What have I told you about that? What will the neighbors think…you and those crazy scratching of yours. We have to live here, you know…”