Archive for July 13th, 2011

13th July
2011
written by amber

From Broken Vessels

We learn so much. We sometimes find the fingerprints of the ancient potter; we sometimes find burned remnants of their meals.

We crouch and we sweep with increasingly tiny brooms; we blow dust away with imported air in aerosol cans. What would those long ago people think of such things?

Under the Mediterranean sun we burn and we shrivel; we age quickly on our digs and yet our life span may be three or four times what they had. I look at the older archaelogists and I cringe. I love this work, but I don’t want to look like that when I’m only 40.

Broken vessels symbolize the soul’s departure; a woman’s cooking utensils are cracked so they can no longer hold the stuff of life, the nourishing food she once cooked.

I don’t think her life was as simple as I earlier believed. She may not have known about political troubles around the world, but she probably heard about battles in the next valley that could spill over into her valley. She perhaps cooked a meal in this vessel to give to her son before he went off to war. And maybe she collected her tears in it when he failed to return.

She might not have had to learn how to balance a cheque book and use the internet, but she needed to remember which plants were good and which were poison, how to prepare the meat so that it lasted long enough, how to help her widowed daughter-in-law give birth. How to survive on the land, something I could never do.

Ancient vessels put our modern life into perspective.

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story posted every day on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by adding first line suggestions in the Comment section.

This story was inspired by the title of a song by Orphaned Land.