Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Another place, another time

For the most part, I enjoy the fact that I've been given the opportunity to live in the 21st century.

I like the conveniences (even those that are double-edged swords, like greasy fast food.)
I like the advantages of being a part of a flexible culture (did someone say "Internet-based, work-at-home freelance writer"?)
I like the day-to-day experiences of being in the "here and now."

Yet I do sometimes ask myself where I'd choose to be if it couldn't live in this era.

Depending upon my mood, the answer varies.

Sometimes, I fancy myself as a hearty, determined, resourceful pioneer wife, forging ahead into the great unknown. I want to know what it felt like to make food on a hearth, create the family's clothing and "tame" a landscape.

When I'm in other moods, I feel it might have been interesting to live before and during the American Civil War. I can't exactly say why, though. I'd like to think the roots of this daydream are intellectual... but they're more likely based on silly romantic ideals that John Jakes' North and South imprinted upon my psyche years ago.

In what time would you live if you couldn't be in 2007?

Would you jump back to the beginnings of Christianity? The Middle Ages? The Renaissance?
Or would you opt for Greece? Rome? The Far East?

Where in history do you feel your soul would be most be at peace?

8 comments:

SzélsőFa said...
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SzélsőFa said...

I don't know.
Now your mentioning the Pioneer era, I recall watching an exhibition about pioneers. Mostly photos, some artifacts, objects left of that era.
It drew me in completely.
I imagined being one of them and it just felt so right.

The exhibition was in 1991. It still excites me.

jason evans said...

I've always been very drawn to the early 1900's. The mix of the old world with all the new discoveries and explosion of science fascinates me to no end. It was like now with more romance, mystery, and poetry (or so I think).

Aine said...

I was always drawn to pioneer times also (perhaps because "Little House on the Prairie" was my favorite TV show when I was young). Our mountain retreat certainly gives me a taste of that life!

And, since my beloved Jason introduced me to the mystery and romance of the turn of the century, I'd love to time travel to then.

But the time period I would most like to see (not stay for any period of time, though) is about 40,000 years ago when more than one species of Homo sapiens walked the earth and interacted. I've always wanted to observe "raw" humanity, without the trappings of technology or complex civilization.

Susan said...

First, I have to realize that however romantic the past may seem when I read about it, any life I probably choose back then would be harsh, brutish and short, right?
I'm very drawn to Regency and Elizabethan England, and the Provence of the minstrels, and ancient Greece and Egypt.
The most peace? I think I could have been very happy as a monk illuminating manuscripts, or as a nun singing medieval chants. The life of a scribe is probably closest to the one I have now!

The Quoibler said...

Szelsofa: I think you would make an awesome pioneer! I could see you whipping the wild west into shape!

Jason: Isn't it funny how we project so much romanticism into the turn of the 20th century? It probably was less ideal than we imagine, but I, too, would like to visit!

Aine: Little House on the Prairie! Wonderful! I seriously still use the "Little House" cookbook for recipes (no lie.) Good luck if you get back to the beginnings of human life... I'm sure you'll see some crazy stuff! (Then again, maybe they were more civilized than we are today! ha!)

Susan: A monk? You? No way! You'd enjoy it in some ways, but you'd need a stage. How about Elizabethan times instead? A lady of the court? Or perhaps a female troubadour (trobaritz, I believe they were called.) :)

SzélsőFa said...

oh, yes, that is what tickles me the most: to create.

Susan said...

Dearest Quoibler, I think you're right! I probably would have been most happy as a 13th-century glee-maiden: "Jongleurs (or clowns) were called “Gleemen” and typically worked in partnership with a “glee-maiden” who would work on her own or work as an assistant to the male burlesquing his skill. This glee-maiden was a female clown who was a skilled musician, dancer and acrobat in her own right." Sounds good to me!