Meandering about on the altiplano, the high plains of Peru and Bolivia, you might come across a hillside covered with terraces. These terraces will be supported by walls of stone; thousands and thousands of carefully stacked, mortarless stones. The local Quechua will proudly inform you that these terraces were built by their ancestors, the Inca, who invented this form of high elevation farming. Ask a Aymara, however, and they'll shake their head knowingly, and explain how their ancestors were building such terraces for centuries before the Incas invaded. And if you could somehow speak to the people who built ancient cities like Sullustani or Tihuanaco, and they might shake their heads knowingly, and explain that it was, in fact, their ancestors who first built those terraces.
If you look for the oldest system of writing, you may arrive at pictographs in southern France from the Azilians, carvings in America, Africa, or China, or cave paintings in Spain. Researchers may assure you that these different forms of writing date back as far as sixteen thousand years. But then, you might encounter references to evidence of lost systems; carved pebbles, clay pellets, and knotted strings used in China, Africa, and the Americas as much as thirty thousand years ago. And if you could speak with the creators of these systems, they'd probably point you to some system of symbolic representation used by their ancestors.
So if you try to find who wrote the first love poem, you'd have to go back to the first person to speak. And if you were to somehow interview this person, you'd find that they took inspiration from a gesture or sound that had been in common use for thousands of years. Following this thread, you might find that your investigation would take you to an earlier primate, who would cite a distant ancestor's tuneless singing. And from there, to an earlier ancestor, until to your surprise and amazement, you'd have tunneled to the deepest caverns of darkly twisting history where you'd listen to the emotive thrumming of single-celled creatures.
But if you could only understand them, they'd tell of their unremembered forbearers, more plant than animal, who considered their entire existence as a love poem to the Sun.
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|September's Meander rose through the fog on Westridge Road to be bathed in bright moonlight.|
All misspellings, misattributions, omissions or errors in naming should be construed as Acts of God, directed through yours truly (for reasons at which we as mere mortals may only guess...)