Tuesday, June 08, 2010

The Empire Of Kimberly’s Innocence

Kimberly is writing an adventure story
about people who get involved with standing stones
and the way the stones echo fallen, lost empires.
Since I mentioned Kimberly last year in a post—
that post and my recent post about standing stones
in fact are what started her writing her story—
she asked me to look at what she’s written so far
and she asked me about some story ideas.

This is the weepy and sad part of this account.

When I mentioned that most Neolithic sites now
may or may not look like what their builders put up
Kimberly looked at me all wide-eyed and said, “What?”

I said, “Yeah, almost all these sites have been ‘restored.’
Most rocks have fallen and the structures have collapsed.
Experts have surveyed most of these sites, rebuilding
the structures the way they believed builders built them.”

Kimberly just kept looking at me all big-eyed.
The New Age books she’d read hadn’t mentioned that stuff.

I showed her the section at Wikipedia
in the ‘Stonehenge’ entry about restorations,
including putting some of the stones on concrete.
And I showed her a Wikipedia entry
about a site in Cornwall where a storm had wrecked
the structure, broke a stone, and locals had rebuilt
the scene as best they could without the broken stone.

Kimberly wasn’t crying but her eyes stayed big.
She said, “I thought these things lasted five thousand years!”

“Yeah, well,” I said, “that’s the romantic view of it.
The poetic view. I mean, the rocks are still rocks.
And at some point in the past somebody really
did assemble these things into cool arrangements.
It’s just not quite as cool as New Age types make it.”

Kimberly looked from me to her notes with big eyes.

I’m wondering now if she’ll finish her story.

Why does an empire collapse? I was there. I watched
the empire of Kimberly’s innocence collapse.
Kimberly’s innocence is gone now, fallen, lost,
like the empires where people built structures of stones.

I’m wondering now if she’ll finish her story.

I hope she does. That’s one of the few things people
do better than rocks: We can get up when knocked down.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Stonehenge - Archaeological research
and restoration at Wikipedia

Lanyon Quoit at Wikipedia

Fallen, Lost Empires

People Become Things: Carreg Samson

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