The connection with history was hard to miss during the Coronation of King Charles III. Some version of this ceremony has happened for many, many centuries in Great Britain–can you believe that this ritual has been held at Westminster Abbey for almost a thousand years? Hard to fathom.
I’ve loved walking the cobblestone streets of the past all over Europe, imagining life as it once was. I am not only aware of history but respond to it viscerally, in body and mind. I can almost place myself back in those times. And that’s why I loved the Coronation. It represents the weight of history.
Is the monarchy outdated? That is not for me to decide. But I do appreciate that it is a link with what’s come before. I think that is important. Ancient rituals are important. Remembering the past is important.
Maybe we don’t get it
Maybe here in America we don’t quite understand that.
We are a young country. But Europeans live among historical buildings and monuments, reminded daily of history, if they pay attention.
We are a country obsessed with recreating history –because it wasn’t fair. But it’s impossible to recreate history. It’s happened already and it was rarely fair, anywhere.
Why don’t we try learning from it?
We can not revise it or recreate it, or cover it up, or deny it–we can only learn from it. We can not make up for it except by doing better now. This is why I don’t believe in reparations. I do believe in change, though. In progress.
If we spent half the energy we spend tearing down old monuments to making real change, we might get somewhere. Perhaps you recall last month’s post after I visited the monument to Dr. Martin Luther King and was reminded of how far we have not come.
History is important. Symbols of history like coronations are important. It doesn’t mean we glorify them. It means we pay attention. Assess them. Learn from them.
And do better.
I’d love your thoughts.
Oh and a reminder of my shop here, with beautiful, gentle tools for healing and grief.