First there is a family, in about 800 b.c. They survived on the foggy banks of the Danube. Maybe the father tills the soil, maybe he hunts in the dank forests - maybe he is even an artisan. Then my mind runs a little narrative on how the germanic raiders forced them over the river to what would be France in nearly three thousand years. It is utter fancy, I have no basis for it - but never the less - my mind wants to fill in the gaps.
So the family headed south, ending up in the plains of what would one day be Spain. A few generations later, and the family breeds sons who can handle horses. One son joins Alexanders army and becomes a lieutenant. Probably he was in some sort of auxiliary troop, stationed in some province outpost. He sat around and got fat and bored, and bullied people. But maybe he got swept up in the greatest of Alexander's thirty odd years, and ended up in asia. Maybe he battled the persians, maybe he was even loyal to Alexander. All I know about him is he was a lieutenant in Alexander the Great's army. But thats it really. None of my ancestors really make any other marks.
So in my mind I cycle through my family line, breeding, eating, drinking, fighting, living, dying for thousands of years. They witnessed the sun setting on the Greek knowledge, they were effected by the might of the Romans. They eeked out their narrow minded lives in the dark ages. Around this time I guess they ended up in Scotland. Again, I have no basis, I just like to impose my narrative. They might of listened with wonder at the teachings of the Scholastics. They fell like flies under the black plauge, and enjoyed the age of enlightenment. And Five generations ago, some of them made it to Australia, and I am now a sixth generation Australia. Well half of me.
The known story of the other half of my blood stops at my grandparents - they were both adopted. One from a northern area of China where the people are with taller, and more slender. The other from Japan, and I suspect no-one knows from where exactly. But its more than enough from my mind to take a meander. Back over the dynasties, over peasants clay jars of pickled cabbage, over lean wild rices, over the first unification of China, farms, ancient cities, ancient wars. I see them espousing logic in tea houses, bickering bitterly in market places, failing, succeeding and everything in between. I pick out what I know of history, and populate it with actors, call them my ancestors, and pretend to know them, and pretend to understand.
And as I sit at my office computer at 12:34 am listening to the drunken bustle of the city's main strip outside my window, I note two things:
- The Liquid Crystal Display I am looking at was made by company whose phone phreaking co-founder's curiosity sparked the personal computing revolution
- I feel utter disconnect with everything