All Hallows’ Eve, Samhain or Halloween…take your choice. This day and this season mark a liminal time, when the veil between this world and the next grows thin. While restless spirits from history are routine inhabitants of Fia’s world in Soul Search and Soul Scent, for us, it is only on this one night of the year that the souls of the ancestors are said to revisit their homes seeking hospitality.
As an introvert, I generally have enough on my plate at this time of year, mentally rehearsing responses to extant relatives who will show up during the upcoming holiday season. Now, consider having to defend your religious views (or lack thereof) and your political leanings to someone removed from you by not just one generation, but maybe multiple human life cycles. The generation gap could become a generation (grand) canyon.
For example, what if a distant relative from the medieval era were to demand hospitality at your table? Really, what connects you, other than a little bit of DNA? Oh, sure, you might be awestruck and interested for a few minutes, but then politics would enter the discussion… “A most notable coward, an infinite and endless liar, an hourly promise breaker, the owner of no one good quality.” Dude! I did NOT vote for the guy. “Thou sodden-witted lord! Thou hast no more brain than I have in mine elbows. Thine face is not worth sunburning. More of your conversation would infect my brain.” Oh yeah? Well…well… yo’ momma!
The conversation would eventually degenerate further, with this ancestral person questioning even the most basic things in your life. For instance, why do you and your modern ilk walk with such uncommon ungainliness?
According to some schools of thought (see the video created by Germany’s History Park Bärnau), people from the Middle Ages walked differently than we modern folk. The difference in gait compared to contemporary people is attributed to the types of footwear worn, modern people having more protection due to thicker soles. While modern people walk with a heel first strike on a surface, medieval people would step more gingerly, with the ball of the foot striking first in order to better protect the foot from damage. This would lead to a more elegant and graceful gait compared to our current clodhopper, heel-stomping motion.
Image attribution: Holger Motzkau 2010, Wikipedia/Wikimedia Commons (cc-by-sa-3.0)
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