Back in December we caught a news story out of Australia about an aboriginal elder who had traveled from a remote island in Northeast Arnhem Land to Victoria to perform a special dance with his granddaughter on her graduation day. The photo of the two of them together was especially beautiful and evocative.
have two marks rather permanently on the back of my left hand. one is
small and almost hidden. the other is larger and more visible. i let
them remind me not to be stupid. we had a wood stove. we had big leather
gloves. dummy me would now and again be lazy and feed the fire sans
gloves. some times, reaching into the firebox holding a piece of
firewood in my naked hand, i would touch something hot. and retract my
hand very quickly. sometimes bumping it on the hot sooty cast iron,
tearing my oldster skin. yes. i did this twice. oh, there were
uneventful naked hand fire feedings of course. and gloved feedings too.
the second and larger wound convinced me to put the glove on always.
about the ancient art of tattooing made us google around looking for
other old bearers of the skin permanently marked by the charcoal of ash.
We couldn't believe who we found: Otzi, the Iceman!
Otzi's tattoos are the world's oldest.
is interesting to consider how the face of a beautiful old grandfather
sent us on this journey to Roger's ash infused scrape on a hot cast iron
woodstove and then to Otzi and his ancient art. Thousands and thousands
of years connected by fire and ash.