Life and Work

Sapiens Revisited

If evolution had never got past a certain point
I can well imagine what my particular little tribe would be doing.

In the long hours between hunting and gathering
and fishing
and making fur into clothes,
we’d all be hanging around the cave –

I doubt we’d stop talking.

Cooking food; eating it; laughing, hugging; making love, arguing.

Drinking too much fermented berry juice.
And then drinking some more.

Some of us would be hunkered in front of the cave wall, delicately smearing plant dye onto our latest bison painting ..

Some padding a rock with moss to make a chair..

Some stretching skin over gourds and banging them endlessly with a stone while someone else twanged some gut stretched on a stick
and another one leaned against a tree and blew idly through a hollow twig..

Some climbing up the tree to watch the birds;
Some jumping off it to see how high it was.

Some  swimming in the river then running along the bank then trying to invent the wheel..

Some just sitting and wondering..

Some just sitting..

Most would be planning the next feast day celebration;
directing rehearsals;
practicing the dances,
making the masks;
learning a speech;
designing the costumes…
Working out a narrative …
composing a song –
singing it..
then singing it some more..

then making everybody listen..

While around us wonderful nature crawled and soared and buzzed and mated
and poured itself crashing down crags
and reared up above us in unfathomable green shadows
and soaked us and baked us and blew us and shivered us.

and occasionally ate us..

Mighty; Invulnerable;

safe from us.

We wouldn’t be around for long; but then,
A day is a day.

There would have been dreadful times; pain and loss and hunger and suffering and death; just like now.

Though we wouldn’t have had to bear it alone, or among strangers; to the very end there would have been communal firelight; familiar voices; the comforting weight of children on the lap.

But ..
Some of us would be poking the ants with a stick, trying to work out how to keep them from the food store; some watching the flow of the river, wondering how to divert it closer to the cave ..

Before you knew it, someone would be inventing iPhones.

That’s the trouble with humans; they can never leave well enough alone.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.