I had some fun on Instagram on Thursday, posting an old photograph. If you haven’t seen it yet, brace yourself:
Yes, that was me, in 1991. I am doing a Napoleon (First Consul and Emperor of France, 1799-1815) impersonation. Commenters did agree they got a laugh from it.
In some ways, that photograph seems like yesterday. Yet it is most certainly not “yesterday.” Many of you reading this had then not even been born yet.
Then there are those far more distant times, such as Napoleon’s… and our America’s. Last night as I was re-reading what I’d written the other day, I remembered my previous post on here. In it I’d noted how in the 1990s my now late grandmother had told me it is now “my time.”
I thought once again about how learning history is, yes, about broadly knowing “big events”; but more important is drilling down to contextualize them and seeking better to understand those lives lived before ours. In that example above, those two men have their contemporary view of their “1800” they were then living, and they could not see the future any more than we can. Their foreign wives (I’m not spoiling anything by telling you who they are!) have their opinions too – and separately we hear from them generally as well.
It is indeed, now, as my grandma had said, our turn. It is inevitable someday people not yet born will look back on us trying to figure us out. Some of what we will have left behind will “wow” them. But likely other things we have done… well, probably won’t.
But hopefully, on that latter, they will at least give us the benefit of the doubt that we did not deliberately seek to mess things up. A character there asks, “What is happening at home?” We may well also ask the same sorts of questions at times.
Just a quick post. A few things that jumped to my mind. Hope you are having a good weekend. 🙂