Due to the fact that I added the class at the last moment and was sick the following week, today became my first foray into the ancient world of human survival. Survival – it has to be the most intense word invented, above love, ecstasy, hate and all that as the first thing we as animals are biologically programmed or wired to do is to survive. Even reproduction and passing down a lineage takes a second place. It is a dangerous word – fraught with uncertainties and poisonous plants and wild sabre tooth tigers. But in today’s world we seem to have domesticated the word much like how we have domesticated everything else, and the word has lost the original feeling and emotions attached to it. It even seems cute, and distant, in this first world country today. Regardless of income, race, gender, most people find it not a difficulty to survive, the only difference is how much one lives.
Indeed, the survival I came into contact today has lost all sense of practicality and urgency, replaced by technology and abundance, leaving behind only a knowledge of how we used to live. Pottery and ceramics, apparently that’s how we lived. Gifted with the understanding and manipulation of nature, our ancestors found a way to create efficient tools with different materials. They one day stumbled upon ceramics, and found that it could be used to make containers and sharp enough objects that could be used to create other tools or as a form of weapon. The ease of manipulating ceramic into whatever you want is easily appealing. I made an oil lamp and a rectangle container that resembled an iPhone casing. Other people with nimble hands created objects such as Pandas, Cats, and even a character from the popular cartoon Adventure Time. Then we perfected containers that we would later use to brew beer, by molding it, streamlining it with a smooth rock, and painted it with colorful decorations. Equally and more aesthetic pottery has been found that was made thousands of years ago, indicating the value of aesthetics to human’s livelihood.
I had my hands dirty, and I learned, as I sought to uncover the world that our DNA once existed for.