Why we walk backwards

Female deities with inscrutable smiles, the Stele di Nora (a stone tablet showing in Phoenician characters the first recorded occurrence of the name “Sardinia”), and spindly, highly stylish, innovative and quirky bronze statuettes of varying sizes are just some of the things possible for viewing at Cagliari’s Museo Archeologico.

This is Sardinia’s premier archaeological museum displaying artifacts that span millenia of ancient history.

Sardinia’s most important prehistoric, Phoenician, Carthaginian and Roman finds are gathered here, including jewellery, coins, busts and statues of gods and muses and funerary items from the sites of Nora, Tharros and Sant’Antico.

I was most impressed with their mission statement:

“Why we walk backwards

We start from the end, from today to the time of discovery.

Why?

Because telling the story is not an easy challenge.

There are many things we should know, but we don’t.

That exposes us to a serious danger.

Whether we are aware or not, whether we want it or not, we must know that anything coming to us from the past, anything that attracted our interest and attention will become a part of our world because of that interest and attention.

That will increase and at the same time modify its meaning.

Then it may happen – it frequently does – that, interrogating the past, we hear only our own voice.”

And written on another wall…

“The word “text” comes from the Latin “textus” (fabric), a product of weaving, the criss-crossing and tying of threads.

It isn’t a generic and chaotic set of elements, but a set of elements organically connected to compose a cloth.

That is what we mean when we say that a territory can be intepreted as text.”

And, in a nutshell, that is my dream…

To create a tapestry of words that attracts interest and attention that becomes part of the world, a textual territory of the mind and spirit.

It is a good dream indeed.

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