Tumblewords

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Sunday, January 25, 2009

When the Lights Come on in Uxmal

Leaving the Uxmal parking lot, I cross a small wooded area to enter the courtyard for the night's Spanish performance telling the story of the ruins.

Warm air breathes on my bare arms and legs. Tiny stars pierce the dark sky. A fat low moon creeps to the very top of the fortress as the music begins and spotlights play a seeking game within the courtyard and walls.

The music gains volume and lights rhythmically illuminate the quadrangle of stones while voices relate the ancient tale of this agricultural community attacked by a tribe from a remote drought-stricken area. Screams, hoof beats, cacophony of war mix in the dark and swirl outward...

Muted conversation breaks my trance and nudges me to return to the parking area. I wonder how I can romanticize a people who cheerfully beheaded others, sacrificed virgins by dropping them from great heights into deep pools of dark water and had such little regard for human life. Reality reasserts itself as I realize that after other civilizations disappeared, we continue the same things which contributed to their demise.

I also find a part of me begs to trust that chiefs, captains and other authority figures will have the integrity for proper and humane action when faced with a problem. Further processing provides the innate knowledge that each of us, within, is that authority and we must access it and learn to use it before we, too, become mere heads carved in walls or sacrifices to uncaring gods.

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Phantoms & Shadows is the prompt by Sunday Scribblings

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23 comments:

Linda Jacobs said...

I love this poetic prose of yours!

You make an excellent point!

anthonynorth said...

An excellent warning, there. We seem to never learn.

Lucy said...

glad u had that link to Uxmal ( i was clueless!)
sacrificing virgins! The nerve!
great job Sue!

paisley said...

sue... i do so love it when you deviate from the norm,, and what thought provoking subject matter... i cannot imagine why history is doomed to repeat itself.. i cannot comprehend why we continue to make the same choices leading to the same down falls time and time again... for such intelligent animals,, we seem totally void when it comes to anything that seems to require any real intellect..... super job!!!

Stan Ski said...

I sometimes wonder why we fear ghosts, while at the same time, continuing to repeat the mistakes of our predecessors.

Mary said...

We continue to refuse to learn from the mistakes of others, but at the bottom of every Pandora's Box of humanity's hatred, there is the hope that at some point, we will rise above and find a way to be the type of people we long to be.

Great post!

Granny Smith said...

This is both a fascinating description of an Uxmal evening with its fat moon rising but also a wise and thought-provoking essay.

Thanks!

Marguerite said...

Very thought-provoking words. Great description of the performance. I almost felt I was there myself.

Lilibeth said...

You are right. We never learn. The disregard for human life doesn't bother us until it becomes personal...our son at war, our little baby aborted, our grandmother snowed under. Sometimes I cringe from the bloodquilt of decisions not made by me...but made by my people...and so I cry. I have been in Xochicalco...and Tenochtitlan...

"Sunshine" said...

Very descriptive piece that makes you think.

Thanks for visiting my blog, as well.

Ann said...

One of my undergraduate majors was in history, and if history teaches us anything it's that people make the same mistakes over and over, in slightly different ways. No one people has ever had a monopoly on the moral high ground or on evil. Nothing lasts forever. Ozymandias and all that.

When we remember the past, we should consider the parallels to our future and try to do better.

Lovely and thought-provoking post!

missalister said...

I like experiences like that because they make me into one more person who wants to make right what’s been done wrong. Of course, just the positively dreamy way you set this up, with the warm air breathing and the fat moon creeping, will help instantly by putting smiles on faces that will carry on positive, peaceful vibes like ripples on water : )

Neilina said...

Nice take on the prompt!This line..."Further processing provides the innate knowledge that each of us, within, is that authority and we must access it and learn to use it before we, too, become mere heads carved in walls or sacrifices to uncaring gods." Really made me to think.

Tammie Lee said...

Beautifully written.
Plus I so agree with you. We each must be active and speak our truth and not be blind to what goes on in our world.
Thank you.

dormouse74 said...

Thanks for your comments on my blog :) I found your post for sunday scribblings very thoguht provoking, so i had a little look round your blog and I particulalry like A summers day haiku, both words and picture

linda may said...

Interesting post and good that you added the link. I think the earlier comment by paisley got it right, we are all animals, but at time I don't know what inteligences we do have. Inteligences, is that a word? he he.

Tanya Gwen Minnick said...

Very well done, I could imagine the twinkling stars and low moon in the sky. I agree, I hope that we never forget the suffering that came before us- so we will strive to no repeat it.
be well

latree said...

I don't know why, this brought me to the war in Palestin. And I feel so sad...

beautifully written.

Pretty Me!! said...

interesting !!

totomai said...

oh this is thought provoking. i think part of being human is to learn and accept the past as well as life's experiences

Alisa said...

The low fat moon and warm air put me right there with you. A beautiful set up for the cacophony of war and sacrificed virgins. Only now we sacrifice our young men and women to the god of oil. I wonder when it will be, that we get wise enough to learn from the mistakes of our ancestors.

Linda - Nickers and Ink said...

Your creativity continually astounds me.


Hey, today's prompt at MEME EXPRESS is PHANTOM.

Feel free to stop by and leave a comment with a link to your post today!

Blessings,
Linda

MEME EXPRESS – daily blog prompts

danni said...

better late than never - forgive me! --- you're so right - when we don't learn from history we ARE! doomed to repeat it, are we not??? --- dynamic prose!!!