Footprints in sand

Terra Incognita

It’s difficult to imagine what our distant ancestors might have thought when they first set foot on some new landmass. Did they stop and take in what had never before been seen by human eyes or was it simply just another day, another nameless, forgettable place along their lifelong journey? Perhaps they were just thankful for seeing another after the hardships they must have endured.

The rationalist in me knows that they had no way of truly understanding their situation or what their achievement would one day bring about. For the world is truly vast and still holds even the most modern and well travelled minds in awe, let alone those ancient people who could only comprehend and know this world by putting one foot in front of the other.

The romanticist in me would hope that whilst the needs and motivations of those long ago peoples were most likely more urgent and concerned with day to day survival, they at least, in some small way marked events that they might have seen as significant.

We will never know.

But one thing I’m certain of is that they would have seen the potential, the possibility. For our ancient forbears were nothing if not resourceful. They had to be; their very existence often depended on it. Resourcefulness, some might say, stems from necessity, and necessity requires creativity……

I have yet to set foot on a new (and undiscovered) landmass and though I have a yearning to see distant places, I am happy enough where I am right now, physically. And yet here I am about to take my first steps in a new and unknown place.

Writing is hard, for like the nomadic hunter gatherers of long ago, who could only get where they wanted to go by placing one foot in front of the other, so must the writer reach for his conclusion by placing one word after the other. And like those ancient people who traversed new and unknown territories, unsure of what they would encounter, often equipped with little else other than their hunger, their ingenuity and perhaps a touch of curiosity, so too must the writer strike out in a new and unknown direction.

Equipped with little more than a hunger, a curiosity, a smidgen of creativity and near unlimited access to the collective knowledge of the human race, I am about to start a journey of discovery with only the vaguest idea of where I’m headed.