Thursday, October 09, 2008

Living in History

Sometimes I think life would be so much easier if I would have been born ten or fifty or a hundred years earlier.  Then I check my e-mail, start my dishwasher, and go sit at my digital piano.  Ha!

If I had to pick a different time period to live in other than now, I'd go with one of two times:
The Enlightenment or the Industrial Revolution in the United States.

The 1700's were a time of huge strides in American thought.  With an emphasis on scientific and logical reasoning, how could I not be persuaded to want to live during this time.  The ideas of popular sovereignty, liberty, and natural rights rose out of the great thinkers of the time: Jefferson, Adams, and Madison.  With the country in it's revolution, the declaring of independence, and statehood all on the line, how exciting would it have been?  I realize my life as a female of this time would be limited (I might only have a 5th or 8th grade education), and the majority of my roles would be confined to household tasks.  But the air was filled with philosophy and enlightenment.  That sounds wonderful.

About a hundred years later, the United States entered the Industrial Revolution.  Trade expanded, the country flourished, and cities grew.  Sure, I realize that child labor increased, housing was awful, and pollution was rampant.  But the Victorian Era seems downright fascinating.  The juxtaposition of modern ideas with extreme modesty has me enthralled.  I love to read about some of the customs and theories of the time, and I don't necessarily think they're antiquated even today.  Fashion and architecture of the day is incredible (still!).  These boom years leading up to the Civil War seem like an interesting time to live through.

Of course, I'm thankful for all of our current conveniences.  I would not do well riding a horse today, but I am adept with my four tires on asphalt.  I love my fancy-schmancy electric toothbrush (yay for clean teeth).  And I certainly would be lost without the Internet as a source of knowledge, entertainment, and communication.

Anyway, it takes me too long to write down all of these musings with paper and a fountain pen.  I type faster than I write, so I get these crazy ideas out of my head better when I'm typing.  You should be thankful for that!

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