Musing on History

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A trail bridge at Teatown Lake Reservation, Ossining, NY 

Thanks to all of you who’ve reached out to ask about my next post.  Lest you think I’ve abandoned this blog, let me assure you that I have about five posts in the pipeline.  It’s just that the present has gotten in the way of the past . . .

But I came across this article in the New Yorker from last year that I thought I’d share as an amuse bouche, if you will, to the blog posts I promise are coming.  (Don’t worry, it’s short!)

It made me think about why learning about the history of my immediate surroundings is important to me, and why I started this blog.  The article quotes Bruce Springsteen saying (in his Broadway show, if you remember the days when Broadway existed!) “I wanted to know the whole American story. . . . I felt like I needed to understand as much of it as I could in order to understand myself.”

I am not as big picture-oriented as Mr. Springsteen.  I just like stories.

I see myself as part of a story and so like to know what came before me in the story.  It’s an obvious leap, then, to questioning what the stories might be that silently surround me.  Because there really are so many.  I guarantee you, you can’t walk a mile in Ossining (or, I feel sure, in ANY town) without crossing the site of at least one story.

I will leave you with this, a quotation from Robert Wapahi, a Sioux Indian I had the good fortune to meet at a writing retreat at Ragdale in Chicago:

“No part of the earth has not been a trail at some point;

Passed through, over and under;  in the air and in the water; countless trails made and continuously added on to;

Nearly all have gone unnoticed.  You, the reader, cannot even retrace your last hour’s path.

But, they lie there, waiting.  And stories are trails in words.”

Robert Wapahi, 2011

One thought on “Musing on History

  1. Yes! The stories of what came before us. That is what inspires me and what makes your posts so enjoyable. Can’t wait to see what you have coming!

    Like

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