Maybe it was Daddy’s worn copy of Kon Tiki that got me, the one that he loved when he was a boy, with its slick blue and adventure tan illustrations, its grainy black and white photographs of bearded, devastatingly handsome Thor Heyerdahl catching a shark with his bare hands on his way in his reed boat to prove possible trans-continental contact by ancient Polynesian navigators. Sigh. Ever since I was little I’ve loved that thought of far flung adventure, the possibility of discovery, of ancient people, of quipus and carved paddles, of petroglyphs and monoliths, and of the sea: of celestial navigation and of lodestones, the way ships grow from the horizon as the earth curves, the green flash, the dog star, and the southern cross. These mysteries somehow greater than humanity, and maybe almost older than it too. Here is Thor perched atop one of his principal pieces of evidence as to the seaworthiness of balsa rafts, the mysterious and giant Moai Easter Island Heads.Ahhh the mystery! Who built them? How did they get there? Why were they put there? Why did they have stonework dopplegangers in the Peruvian rainforest? Some questions have only suppositions as answers and some answers lead only to more questions. The most recent answer: OH MY GOODNESS THEY HAVE BODIES NOT JUST HEADS! Leads to the next question: Why??
It’s all there: the ancient wonder, the human spark, the surprise and delight of revelation, and the Catch 22 bittersweetness that with each discovery there is one less thing to be discovered.