I’ve always liked history in spite of the fact that most of what we know is based on a conqueror’s story of the past.
In his-story, pieces of them can still be found. Them; the women who walked the earth long before I did.
As a young girl I searched for their stories. I wanted to know what they had to say about themselves and the world.
Although I could never hear how high-pitched or low their tone was or the way they laughed, their voice would echo in my head through their words on a page.
I read Anne Frank’s diary and I am fifteen and I don’t want to die by Christine Arnothy. I liked that they wrote about their good and bad days. The things that made them laugh and cry. Most of all, I was thankful their kind spirit and courageous disposition could live on because of their voices.
Apart from 20th century women who lived through tragic events or whose lives were cut short, personal accounts are few and far between.
When I looked at my family tree, there were no stories. I knew what my ancestors were called but that’s it.
I was young but even then I felt that if something was to happen to me, the idea of me should still exist.
I didn’t want to be just a name like them, my story erased. The world’s narrative going on without me. I thought if I recorded everything, I couldn’t be lost.
Call me delusional but I like to think that my life and all other women’s stories are important to the world.
The essence of who we are and how we spent our existence can benefit generations to come. If our experiences transcend time and distance so does our connection to the women who will inhabit the earth after we are long gone. Our voice today can bridge the gap between us. Our innermost thoughts and feelings are not lost if they create an intemporal bond with them.
That’s something I’ve come to realize somewhat recently.
A few summers ago I received a snake ring as a gift. I wore it everyday. I liked the way it looked when it sparkled in the sun. I felt more me wearing it.
That same summer I visited an exposition on Pompeii, the city that was lost for centuries but whose story was preserved through the very people who lived there, their bodies protected by layers of ash.
Platters of fruit and fresh bread remained along with them. I was walking through the displays of preserved artifacts when the sparkle of gold caught my eye.
An array of women’s jewelry was showcased and among them many snake rings, just like the one I was wearing at that very moment.
I looked at my own finger and I wondered, did they feel like me wearing it?
How they did feel when they put it on in the morning? When they still had days ahead of them.
I will never know.
Even though the objects that belong to us paint a picture of the kind of people we might be, they can’t talk for us.
All I know is that women from Pompeii wore snake rings too.
*Photo is public domain