History – surrounded, immersed, drowning, etc., with regards to it. Be wary of being ahistorical. Yet history has of late become mere voyeurism, people sitting in their homes before some flickering screen, or engaged in a voluntary deafness to all but the radio. Even the sound of newsprint has learnt hysteria – and this is all we know of continuity. Everything else remains the scattered moments of a single life, the finding groceries, the worrying about cash, the meeting friends or avoiding them – breathing, longing, living.
And yet history – is it possible that the ringing of a till, the purchase of book (as, for instance, Friday, Raven Books, Burney’s Cecilia, $6.95) or some other refreshment (e.g. today – soymilk, bread, apples, onion, $7.19), can be more momentous than the moving of armies. Can the observation of a leaf falling or a mist dispersing be of more significance than an orchestrated press conference? Can a smile, a momentous glance, a significant word, be more powerful than the writ of nations?
It depends, I suppose, on what you are looking for.