Who Are (were) You?


Perhaps, like me, you have looked into the night sky and wondered if somewhere in that great cobalt circle someone was looking at earth and wondering… who are you? What are you like?

These days, the mysteries of the universe seem even more fascinating. Imagine—the astrophysicists have discovered a galaxy so very distant that the light from Galaxy MACS607-JD needs to travel 13.3 billion years to reach us. What really boggles my mind is that 13.2. billion years is 97% the known age of the universe! We’re talking about reaching into the beginning of time!

In another mind-blowing discovery, these learned sky-watching folks have found a ‘goldilocks’ world many light years away which is so situated that life is possible there. Life, yes— but what kind of life? Who are you? I would like to ask the inhabitants of ‘Goldilocks,’ but it is unlikely that we will ever know the answer. Instead I must be content with contemplating mysteries closer to home.

So here is a near-at-hand mystery. In the foothills and mountains of South Carolina, there are apparently some hundred sites where—archeologists believe—ancient people carved their messages on stone surfaces and painted them with clay. One of these pre-historic carvings is the Jadaculla Rock which is to be found in a park near Cullowhee. Also, I have read that another archeological find—discovered very recently— is a 30×40 foot boulder soon to be on display in a two-room edifice built by the Pickering CountyMuseum. The thirty one images on the flat surface of this boulder have been so faded and eroded by time and by the elements that on a sunny day they could not be seen. If an archeologist had not studied the boulder on a rainy day, the carvings would have been lost for all time.

Who were these people who lived here so many millennia ago? What did they think as they chiseled their stick figures and animals onto stone? Perhaps they were telling a story or recounting an adventure, or giving directions to the best place to hunt. Or—and this is the explanation that I like most of all—perhaps they wondered as they chipped away at stone who would view their art. Perhaps they puzzled—as I puzzle now—what the world would be like in untold ages to come and asked the universal question: who are you? what will you be like?

In the faded rock

We see shadows of ourselves,

Our past and future.





About Maureen C. Wartski

I’m Maureen Wartski, writer, artist, wife, mother, grandmother; you can see that I have many of the bases covered. I was born in Ashiya, Japan, a (then) small town which lay cradled between sea and mountains. In the evenings, we would walk along the road that ran past Osaka Bay, and a great moon would rise out of the water to turn the world to silver. I’m told that my first words were, “Big moon!” All my life I have felt the tug to write something, draw something, put together something with fabric, string and color, and the urge to create has grown through the years. I suppose, then, that it’s a natural thing that this blog be full of the things that so many of you enjoy doing…drawing, making something with fabric, and writing. Yuri's Brush with Magic, my newest book for middle schoolers follows the adventures of a brother and sister, the magic of words, and the incredible magic of the natural world. I'd love to hear from you! You can send me a note at: maureen@wartski.org/ My blog is here: https://maureenwartski.wordpress.com/ Or friend me on Facebook!

6 responses »

  1. Maureen,
    You have so much curiousity. Were you like that as a kid? You’d make a terrific picture book or chapter book character. Your character’s popularity might surpass Curious George. I can see you building a connector to other planets, maybe with bamboo. What fun! Yes, my imagination is running wild. Isn’t that what it’s supposed to do?

  2. Yes, indeed! Imagination is our greatest asset… maybe why we became a (so called) dominant species! Yes, I was always curious, and I was always trying to find ways to change things. Probably why I was so awful at math! I remember trying to create a piano out of leaves, twigs, and palm fronds when I was about five….
    Thank you for reading, Linda!

  3. I too am fascinated with outer space and what and who are out there. It would be nice if we are re-incarnated and could come back and see what the future holds. Dorothy

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