Sunday Scribblings: Another time in history
This week at Sunday Scribblings, the prompt runs: If I had to live at a different time in history... Here's one of those imagination games that I find so much fun. The exercise this week is to decide what era in history you would choose to live in if you couldn't live now. Not just when, but why? While you're at it, how about where? What do you imagine life would be like?
Ah... After a conversation with my dear pal Nancy last night, I realise, if I could really choose, my heart right now says "Forget Cleapatra, forget Shakespeare. Even forget the thought of being in the Holy Land in the early years of the 2oth century, when you might have gotten to sit in the presence of Abdu'l-Baha, and hear him speak..." All my heart longs for, the time past that I would love to return to, to witness, would be to be able to sit on the steps of the Gaelic League Hall in Limerick, some December day in the mid-1960's, and wait quietly until a mother and daughter came by, just to watch and witness that morning.
It's the memory of my mother that is most present with me these days. A memory of an outing that was just her and me. Of her five children, that day, somehow, I became the one who was brought along to an art exhibition. I don't remember if she told me what to expect, or if she just allowed me to witness the art, as it was displayed and as it was made, but the lasting impression was deep and strong. The artists were mouth- and foot-painting artists, and not only was their work on show, but many were also creating beautiful, intricate pictures with paintbrushes clamped between their teeth or held between their toes. That anyone could make such wonderful pictures impressed me hugely. (I was, at that stage in my young life, probably still struggling in my after-school art classes with Mr. Clifford, producing art in which adults had major difficulty identifying whether the animal on the wall was a cat or a mouse!) That people who did not have the use of their arms or hands could do this was, to me, miraculous, and to be allowed to witness that was very special.
If I could be there now, as an adult, leaning against the wall, watching, I'd love to see the expression on that 7-or-8-year-old's face. I'd love to hear her awed whispers to her mother. I wish now that I could see that mother's face, and hear what her responses were.
I have no recollection of what was said. I have an impression of the magic of the experience. We didn't go out to see art very often. That's the only time that I recall from my childhood. I have a sense that it was a cold day. I imagine I was in a buttoned-up wool coat and a knitted hat. I'm sure I'd have been wearing thick woollen tights and round-toed shoes. I can feel what my mother's hand would have felt like holding my own mittened hand as we left the hall, with me skipping down the steps, as we headed up Thomas Street, or out to William Street, to wait in the chill wind for the bus home.
I realise that I've gone and "cheated" on the prompt again, but there's a part of me that's not able to go big right now, that wants to stay with the little thought, the little memory. I've been staying away from the blog recently. in great part because I've nothing much that I feel I can say or write, but there are little things I can share, and I will be doing that, as the mood strikes.
Blessings to you all, my friends.
Go travel back in time to some real historical situations with other Sunday Scribblers HERE