I am trying to wrap my brain around history. As an interpreter at Old World Wisconsin, I talk about St. Peter’s Church, the first Catholic chapel & cathedral in Milwaukee, which was built in 1839. The liquid glass in the windows is rippled with age. Kids who come by can’t believe that the pump organ isn’t hooked up to speakers and that the stops don’t produce drum patterns or other synthetic sound loops when I pull the knobs. My blog friend, Stuart, is posting amazing photos of Gloucester Cathedral (you must pay a visit…click here to see his shots) built in 1350 or so.Stone masonry and stained glass and soaring vaults predating the little immigrant church by 500 years – shows you that history isn’t about straight-line ‘progress’, it’s a complicated story with twists and turns and explosions and annihilation thrown in. Then compare this photo of Mesa Verde in Colorado, a cliff dwelling inhabited somewhere between 600 and 1300 AD, most likely closer to 1200 AD.
What we do with the raw materials at hand, the technology available and our cultural values is totally up to us. So much is possible. So much has always been possible. What are we doing today? How will our imprint appear in 500 years? It’s a lot to think about.