The following is the first in a series I will write about my very own deep thoughts, philosophizing of things, and attempts at explaining my personal curiosities. I hope you enjoy:
Whenever I’m in the presence of an antiquated object, an innate sense of wonder overwhelms me from a very deep, spiritual place. With it, a fantastical escapism to contextualize the history of the object in my imagination- visualizing its journey through time, who crafted it, how its changed hands over time, how its journey has defined what it is now in front of me, et cetera, et cetera, I could go on forever- allows me to be humbled by the inanimate.
From ancient, masterfully carved stone heads of Hindu deities, to the artisanal brilliance woven and expertly laid into every component of a 500 year old sheathed ceremonial dagger, the objects of the past present a complete anonymity that is peculiarly intimate. An awareness of the human hand, the invested labor, and the mindset of the crafter. All of these things pervade the modern observer’s veneration of the object. We so often stare with wonder at the enormous dedication and skillset of our ancestors and the refinery of their craft.
From Past to Present
It is with no wonder then we feel overwhelmed by the inundation of objects in our modern era. Veneration is desirable, but often curtailed by our mass consumer culture. An object, as any layperson can assess, is bequeathed significance by its resilience to time and its own historical merits. We tend to look at time as the most important characteristic of any inanimate, crafted thing we feel inclined to value. Does it have history? Is it built to last? Will it enthrall the future as it has enthralled us?
Those three questions all directly correlate to their respective timeframes: past, present, and future. It can be said that this awareness is instinctual. The preservation of our species, the assurance of our present, and the will to survive separates the organic cycle of nature from the interruption of the human hand.
Why Do We Venerate?
We are beings conscious of our actions, their intended results, and their ultimate consequences. When we create something objectively beautiful, it is only natural we uphold its importance within the context of our own, specific narrative. In so doing, we become the amateur creators in our own destiny. We create, save, and place objects as a means to assert ourselves upon the future.
We must, by all means necessary, dignify our past by helping it prevail into the future. Even if that prevailing is done with missteps and crudeness, we are only broadening the spectrum that is human.