In my thinking, research and imagine it’s clear in my writing here too- my interest when speaking about connecting to a history of boats is in an ancient and sometimes mythic past. When the water would take you to somewhere you didn’t know and it seemed like the edge of everything. It is in this time that the metaphorical themes are most writ large. I am fascinated by evidence that vikings vessels could well have preceded Columbus to the Americas. And by the account of the book of Icelanders which says that when the vikings first landed on Iceland the found the descendants of Christian monks from Ireland.
The histories we know are from those who mastered the journeys across the waves and made them possible. But the human drive to move beyond the edges is always at work, and it is the more perilous journeys, the pioneers whose stories are hidden that feel more compelling. Though they are hidden by history and shrouded by myth.
One need only look to Polynesia, a thousand islands populated by groups of humans travelling by canoe and outrigger to see that the western story of empire obscures stories of human endeavour, genius and discovery with more power to unite us as humans than the stories of empire, trade and colonialism that falsely claims to be the discoverers of the world beyond the sea.
I love that our history is filled with stories of people who built boats just to see what was across the lake or beyond the horizon. In the early CE period for all the war that sent ships and made history there are also many small boats being sailed just on the hope that maybe Eden lay just beyond the next island. And what is more human than that search.
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