A Fragile Truth

By Maya Petzoldt, TIWP Student

How fragile do I make my words when I commit them to paper, how lost are my thoughts when I give them voice? The wind does not remember, and the written word can burn. All I have said or thought can be and will be lost, not a single thing is guaranteed eternity. There is so much lost knowledge, and so much I will add to it. There are languages lost, tomes buried, and things we will never know because those who spoke them took them to the grave. We do not know if all the knowledge we hold is truth, we can only speculate. We do not know what caused our earth to crack, only that it did. We do not know what parts of a society were imagined by its predecessors, only what they wrote of them. Our history, or what remains of it, is riddled with bullets and farms and time, and our earth, what is not scarred is a secret we do not get to hold. We cannot command our words to be immortal, and we cannot command all of time to lay the answers at our feet. I only wish I knew that the answers were worth it. 

I have heard what we do not know described as a cobweb over a chasm, a thing covering over the vastness of nothing we can never fish from. There are markings on caves we cannot know are numbers, rocks in rings we cannot know are jewelry, ashes of fires we cannot know how old. When did we take our first steps, when did we first wield fire, when did humanity live alongside other species, when did oceans grace the earth, what was the first religion, what was the first word spoken, the first word written, when did hierarchy become so important? When did we first taste bread, when did we first tell stories, when did we first build cities? Under Troy lay the remnants of at least five other cities, under paved roads lie graveyards of societies we cannot know the name of, under ink lie words we cannot read. Under the ocean lie shales and sandstones of ages past, that we cannot know the events of, under the seas lie the footprints of mammals and amphibians alike that we have never seen walk the earth. 

Our history is preserved in things just as earthly as us, they too are haunted by death and age alike. Nothing can last forever, and some say it gives it beauty, and however true, that does not make me mourn the loss less. I crave the knowledge, not for the comfort of answers but for the rush of a story well told. Of history well written, of words well spoken, and something new to learn everyday. I know my words will not last, I just wish other words had.

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