Sitting on History

Wouldn’t it be amazing to be the kind of writer whose works were read and celebrated for centuries beyond their death?

Homer is still read in universities everywhere. The Iliad and the Odyssey are so old we’re not even fully certain when it was written (late 8th or early 7th century BCE).  Imagine writing an epic poem read thousands of years later…so long ago it’s your words people know, rather than you. So long ago, you become a legend historians try to unearth the truth of. So long ago, the wars you’ve written about have been reduced to fantastic myth…

It’s incomprehensible, really.

Writing beautifully is such a gift, and to give that gift to generation upon generation… I feel so terribly lucky to be able to enjoy those gifts. The power of words that stretch throughout time show the human capacity for love, for destruction, for beauty, for desperation. We are still the people we were thousands of years ago, returning to the stories of heroes and conquests and survival. And love. Always, love.

Recently, there was an art trail dedicated to Jane Austen, to mark 200 years since her death. Benches were created to look like open books, and artists were asked to interpret aspects of her work for the benches. They were beautiful, and often placed at locations Austen would have frequented in some fashion. Check out Sitting with Jane, if you want to see more about the project.

Here are some of the beautiful benches:

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