Interesting perspectives from an old friend that does human osteology (or did). We talked via email about some of his changes and how after many years of traveling up to Alaska during the summers for work, this last summer of 2005 was his last. At 49 or so human years, he went through the requisite identity crises about the what and if things. What to do and if I don’t succeed? Luckily I guess, he is single. His home has been a backpack for years and his knowledgebase has been a laptop. While he is not a “techno-uber-geek”, he is quite good with understanding where ideas and artifacts intersect in his life. Now doing archeology and human osteology are artifacts of a previous life.
One of the things we discussed at length is change. Gentle reader, you ever noticed how change occurs even when you would really not have it? It tends to eat away the past, reseed the present, and redefine the future. In Theo’s case, it all came down to only days. Days to look, see, wonder. But an interesting question came up that I’ve wondered about:
How many archeologists and anthropologists have simply gone on to new things because of some change or requirement or need?
In my own case, I reached the point of that change years ago and a friend told me that most males go through three full career changes before they are done with careers. Jobs may have lots of small changes. Director of this, senior engineer of that. But as we go through our male lives, we tend to need that change or it puts the pressure on us.
A old friend, RWR, told me once “there is nothing so constant as change”.
it stuck with me through thick and thin. But one thing, as my wife says. You can take the person from archeology but you can never take the archeology from the person. Once an archeologist and anthropologist; always one. Its more than reading and testing and digging. Its a way we have of exploring our lives and building our conditions. It formulates my thoughts around blogging, about life in general, about how we puny humans experience things. I also get a view on how others do things.
One of the facts I learned early on is that archeologists are solitary human beings and they live a rich solitary tapestry but many of them are not good in sustained large group endeavors. They need the field, the empty spaces, the deserts and forests. It fuels some inward desire.
These days I feel still the same. The solitary moments where introspection runs high are the best for me. I love the aspect at work of building a team; of making that team do wondrous things. But my inner person turns to the deserts and forests still. I can still see the sunrises and sets, the desert glows in spring and the mountain forests.
A decided tapestry and a group of ideas, artifacts, and processes.