An MFRW Author Post – And check out the other blogs on the hop!
I am a huge fan of Outlander. I’ve been reading the books and watching the show for years and, given that the rest of my family has as well, we’ve had more than one serious conversation about time travel and the challenges of living in a different era.
As an outspoken woman, I realistically do not want to live in another time period. The current world is frankly hard enough for women, and I sure like the legal right of owning land and having money in my own name.
Still, as a romantic with a big imagination, I’ve definitely considered my options on more than one occasion, and there are a few places and times that call to me time and again–the Classical Greece, the Renaissance, and the Enlightenment Period.
Now, I’m under no false illusion that period of great progress, thinking, and advancement meant that life was easier for young women, let alone people of color or those from other religions. While Classical Greece and Renaissance Italy were both historically queerer than a Pride Parade in San Francisco, times weren’t easy for LGBT+ folks, and rampant disease, famine, and general ongoing war and violence still abounded within these times. They abounded within all times.
But to bear witness to the periods of change so monumental that we still use inventions and discoveries from those ancient eras today, well, it might just be worth it to stay quiet for a little bit.
As a writer, I find myself routinely going back to Greek mythology and culture. My background in art history also lends itself to an obsession with the Renaissance and Greek art. Given that I’m from a family where every dinner table conversation comes with a side dish of debate and lively conversation, I feel like I’d be right at home in an Enlightenment Salon (which, incidentally, were successful largely due to the influence of powerful women working behind the scenes.)
I like the idea witnessing some of the west’s most defining moments, catalysts of changing power between the church and science, the eras of art, epic poetry, and philosophy that created the foundation for what we know, use, and understand today.
Leonardo Da Vinci was the first person in recorded history to have a biography written about his life while people who knew him personally were still alive. And yet, in an long-ago project based around the events that occurred during his lifetime, pinning down even the dates of large battles and the whereabouts of influentials leaders was nearly impossible. To think that even the defining elements of just a few centuries ago are shrouded in mystery is to acknowledge how little we truly know of our past–a past we consider deeply important to our future.
A past I would want to see with my own eyes.
What would it truly mean for the world to record the answers to some of the longest lasting questions?
Whether finding out the true identity of the Mona Lisa, or watching Plato and Socrates debate the basis of human nature, or witnessing the advances in science that began to undermine the overreach of Church power, these moments in history would be worth the discomfort of the time, as least, for a time.
The truth is, I’d probably be thrown in the brig for speaking my mind. Or I’d just get run over by a carriage, since modern corrective lenses are a marvel without which I wouldn’t be able to write this article. I’d undoubtedly struggle with chamber pots, a decided lack of deodorant and the general state of the world for anyone not a white, rich, Christian man with money and influence.
And yet, without these moments, periods of change, progress, and lively debate, would we truly have the world we live in today? I’d give up access to running water for that.
For a time, at least.