What are the chances that a couple of thousand years from now someone will stumble on this IPad and proclaim that it’s data and history are the tenets of an ancient religion? I wouldn’t bet on it. Perhaps it will be viewed as an artifact of a technological era long past. This week, Tyler and I went to the Denver Museum of Natural History to see The Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit. It was incredible to see the Hebrew writings on bits of papyrus that had survived over two thousand years. Clay jars, carefully placed in caves, preserved some of the writings. The damage to the scrolls as they were reconstructed ( scotch tape!) is the real tragedy. The scrolls contain the early writings that were the basis for the Jewish faith and the Old Testament. My IPad is so pedestrian and my searches for “short hairstyles gray hair” and “constipation” will not change the course of history and neither will my blog posts.
What will be the artifacts of my life? What traces of my existence will remain? The piece of fur found during excavation will be determined to be synthetic and man-made, perhaps from a stuffed toy animal. This is Steve Alvin, the stuffed bear that Roger named, and loved to rub against his face as his dementia progressed. They will uncover a small tiled sign with pieces missing and they will translate it to “Dinker”. There will be no explanation for this strange word, but of course this was Rogers nickname for me. A single heavy glass swan will be found and it will be decided this swan was one of a pair. That is how they are manufactured and live, paired for life . The strange wrought iron primitive deer, was this a totem? A shard of beautiful yellow pottery, a single piece that is uncovered two thousand years from now. A paper towel holder?
Here today, gone tomorrow. All of my “artifacts” are meaningful to me and they represent pieces of my life. What will they mean two thousand years from now? A lot of nothing, I think. Here today, here I am, today I am here. May 21, 2018. I want my life to mean something, I want it to matter that I lived. What is my legacy? I won’t cure cancer or become President ( maybe?) or write the great American novel, so my legacy won’t be in the headlines. What about a legacy of love? Those people I love will go on to love others and I could be part of the unbroken chain of love. A quiet but powerful thread into the future. Artifacts of love.