Historic Narrative

How convenient that history is so poorly documented. And when video-capture finally became available, we see a war of epic proportions instigated by cartoonishly evil foes engaging in epic destruction resulting in unfathomable deaths. Perhaps it was after this that reality began.

I grew up watching WWII documentaries. I’ve seen the speeches, the crowds, the rolling tanks. I have a lot of exposure to the subject-matter and I think the pageantry seems too perfect. My little mind can’t believe that something on so grand of a scale could have happened. The most obvious flaw: where did those rally attendees pee?

And afterwards, if it had really happened, how could the will for violence and hate not have been vaporized by the shockwave? I cannot believe that such wanton destruction and cruelty didn’t penetrate the hearts of all those alive, reaching even into the hearts of those yet born.

Impossible, unless it never really happened. Grey images flickering on a screen before my childish eyes. Grey angry men shouting as dutiful grey boys marched in step, their grey guns in hand. Grey planes against a grey backdrop dropping terror to those below. The grey remains of rubble littered the ground following a whirlwind of grey fire.

If the events of history actually happened, then there is no empathy — it’s an ironic joke to be told as boots stomp the heads of others. We hear that history unapologetically repeats itself — so we should expect more of the same. Yet there are those that say we can transcend such a predicament.

History is mostly the summation of scant stories written in books. So little is recorded that it appears as a puzzle to be pieced together. The historic narrative is therefore merely a belief system. It’s entirely possible that what we know is more fiction than fact. And I for one choose to dismiss the gloom of a past so painted.

We so often teach of battles but not of beauty. Is love any less real than hate? If we focus on the strain and struggle, then no wonder we expect to suffer. Yet birth has always outpaced death, creation surpasses destruction lest there be nothing. Let us therefore focus on what precedes and exceeds decay, as it rightly comes first.

Should we focus on the feces or the food? The nourishment of course, not the byproduct. And what nourishes mankind but love and laughter. We must seek to tell of life’s lighthearted nature. We must speak not of man’s quarrels but his cooperation. It is always man’s alliances that provide him his power.

Does a potter study the shards of a broken vase, examining each jagged piece in detail, documenting the date, and deciphering the method of destruction? No he spends the time honing his craft, creating more beauty to behold. What a waste to be thinking of what’s broken when effort is better spent building.

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