forgotten dreams

…how incredibly humbling it is to get a glimpse of the distant (as in prehistoric, that’s pretty damn distant) past. How richly important is anything that can take us far away from ourselves and our lives to help us to gain perspective of not only how insignificant we are, but how similar we are to all those who came before us and all those who will follow, links in a chain.

My family still jokes about our trip to Carnac, what amounts to a large field of large stones which date back to 3000-4000 B.C. They just saw stones, while I was totally and absolutely blown away by the  fact that these very stones that I was touching had witnessed so many thousands of years of life and death and love and hate. These are not just stones, sillies. (Some lovely atmospheric photos, here, )

Naturally I cannot wait to see the brilliant Herzog’s Cave of Forgotten Dreams, about the Chavet Cave in the South of France which holds some of the most important prehistoric paintings known. Besides the hundreds of paintings, which include…

…at least 13 different species, including some rarely or never found in other ice age paintings. Rather than depicting only the familiar animals of the hunt that predominate in Paleolithic cave art, i.e. horses, cattle, reindeer, etc., the walls of the Chauvet Cave are covered with predatory animals: lions, panthers, bears, owls, and hyenas. Also pictured are rhinos. Typical of most cave art, there are no paintings of complete human figures, although there is one possible partial “Venus” figure that may represent the legs and genitals of a woman. Also a chimerical figure may be present; it appears to have the lower body of a woman with the upper body of a bison. (from wikipedia)

Imagine that until 1994 this incredible wealth of memories from a past which is estimated to date back between (get ready) 25,000 and 32,000 years ago remained untouched. Images, footprints, pigment-covered hands pressed against the rocks…

Ahhh just thinking of it makes me dreamy… someday I’d like to see true cave paintings (I missed the opportunity a few years back, won’t miss it again), but for now this will more than suffice.

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2 thoughts on “forgotten dreams

  1. It takes an emotionally intelligent person to see more than just stones. Good for you! You know, at times I find myself in the company of people who don’t exercise the power of observation; who don’t dwell on things other than what lies right in front of their noses;with no individual interpretation and sentiment and it makes me sad. Sad and frustrated that we’re losing the ability to prize things for their real worth, and this doesn’t mean material worth. I’m glad your interpretation of the “stones” was more than just seeing them as that!

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