Monday, November 5, 2007

History, Genes, Reenacting, and Time Travel

Why is it that the past enthralls me so much? I have asked myself that question many times but I have no absolute answers. I don't believe in reincarnation, but I do believe in the passing of genes. Of course, we know that genes are passed on from parent to child. What I mean is, (correct me if I'm wrong) it's genes that make us act like, look, even sound the way we do, right? "You have your great grandfather's talent for carpentry," "you sing just like grandma," or "I can't believe how close you resemble your grandfather when he was your age." We've all heard something similar, right? Then why can't genes be passed on that enable us to have the same feeling as our ancestors? I mean, if my great great grandfather truly loved his life and his era, then can that passion be so strong that it can be passed down? Can memories (or snippets of memories) be passed down as well? Or am I nuts?
I belong to a Civil War reenacting unit where I portray a civilian postmaster. I wear not only accurate clothing of the era, but I also study the speech and etiquette as well, as does my wife. And we both find ourselves enjoying stepping into the lives of our ancestors very much, and do it as often as possible. We found that the more research we do for our 19th century persona, the more we find that we identify with that era in so many ways. It's almost scary. It's very much a kind of time travel, at least in the way we make the attempt. When in our period clothing, we try to fully immerse ourselves in our portrayal. And every so often, you get that certain magical split second where you really are "there...
This subject will be continued...

1 comment:

Mike Gillett said...

Hey, welcome! I look forward to much, much more. I will email you directions to post photos...