"Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists."
I've been very thoroughly engaged in an Outlander binge for the past little while. I caught up on the show and am about 2/3 through a re-read of the third book, and in the midst of it, I seem to keep finding myself tangled up with people trying to pick fights with me on Twitter (I don't fight on the internet, for the record. It benefits no one).
It's all got me thinking an awful lot about history. Adding to that, it's fall, and the season in which I often find myself meandering through historic cemeteries, which in addition to being lovely walks also serve to remind me in a very tangible way that history is made of people.
History is a trust. As societies and cultures, through myths and legends and textbooks and stories, we are all of us entrusted to remember that history is about people; not only the named ones, not even primarily those, but the ordinary people who lived it. The ordinary heartbroken and beloved. We write fictions about them because they are not on record, and so we must imagine what their lives are like. In doing so, we are empowered to remember that one day we, too, will be the ordinary heartbroken and beloved stones that build the past. We are entrusted to create history as well as to remember it, in all our smallest ways.
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