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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Silk Road Experience

We went to see the "Silk Road" exhibit at the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana. Wow!!! If you live in the area, make an effort to go. There are items as old as 7,000 bce!

The silk road was not actually a road, but was a group of caravan trails. Consequently there were people from Europe and Asia moving along the routes, a real mix of culture & peoples.

The highlight of the show, as advertised & for me too, is a 3,800 year old mummy of a young woman. We usually think of mummies as having been only in Egypt. The mummies of the silk trail were done naturally, not on purpose. The soil is saline. The winters were hard. So, some of the people buried in winter, froze, dehydrated & were preserved by the salts. Because of the natural process, the body is white and natural looking. The people buried in summer rotted & so left no mummy. The conditions had to be right.

Anyway, the mummy at the Bowers is a young woman. She even still has her eyelashes! Her hair is a reddish brown. She has a tiny nose & slender body. She is wrapped in a lovely, woven blanket & has gorgeous boots on her feet. She was other than Asian, European before there was Europe. It is a sort of spiritual experience to look through the glass, only a foot or so from her face, & see her. She almost looks like she could speak, so well-preserved. It is hard to realize she lived 3,800 +/- years ago.

I stood there transfixed. It was a time travel moment. Who were you lovely lady? What was your life like? Were you an adventurer out on the silk road? You look like a person of substance. Were you a trader, a successful woman, an early woman of commerce? What did you believe about God? Did you have a religion? How far were you from home? How special it is for me to meet you far into your future. You speak with your being, a testament that you lived & moved about the planet. A testament that you were beautiful and dressed in the best of your day. I wonder what else you would like us to know.

3,800 years from now, it is unlikely that it will even be known that I lived. What is my obligation to life? Since in the long run my contributions will end up to be anonymous & probably unknown, what am I called to do?

I go back to earlier ideas I've had --- to be the best Marlene I can be; to be a beneficial presence; when I die to be able to answer "yes, I learned how to love;" to develop my consciousness, my relationship with God; for that is all that is going with me when I leave here --- & these will also be traces I leave behind that linger and say that I was here. The footprints we leave are fleeting, yet I think they should be of the highest quality of which we are capable. Striving to be the best person I can be develops the inner of me, the part that goes on. The best things, no matter how magnificent, all stay behind & eventually turn to dust. Only the soul is eternal.

God, help me do the best I can with my life. Help my life be an arrow pointing to You, so that all who encounter me also encounter a bit of You. Your will be done.

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