It is hard for most people to imagine, especially in these modern times, life as it was three or four or five generations ago. Life was, in many regards, much simpler and far less harried despite the lack of comfortable conveniences and technological advances that we know in our times. That, anyway, is my impression.
I have always been given to the desire to go back in time, to step out of the craziness that forms the character of the time-generation that I have inherited by virtue of birth. There is a part of me that has learned to content itself with the tools of our times. I haven’t yet had to trim the hooves on that fancy gas powered tiller and I don’t have to keep a crib full of oats and a loft full of hay to feed it when it’s not in use.
The desire to return, where I am concerned, to before-generations has some to do with the simplification of tools and lifestyles. It has, however, more to do with knowing and understanding the lives of the very real men and women whose character and nature has tricked down over the generations to inevitably and unavoidably find reposit in this modern day passer through time and in his progeny.
I think one of the greatest tragedies of these modern times, at least where my own passage through life is concerned, is the sense of generational unknowing that has, until these more recent times, held me captive within something of a time-suspension capsule. I knew there was more to my own personal reality, dimensions that I could not see, dimensions that I was incapable of rationally naming and understanding.
It has only been of late that recognizable images have begun to appear in the darkness outside this gelatin shell, names, people, and circumstances that I did not know. I am finding it more than interesting, more than a mere gathering of historical genealogical data. These are names, people, and circumstances that are becoming real to me, giving definition to my own inherent personal identity.