Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Touching history

My husband Rick, is touching a stone at the Abbaye aux Hommes in Caen France. It went under construction in 1067,  a project of William the Conqueror or Guillaume le Bâtard in 1067 in penance for marrying his cousin Mathilde. She built the Abbaye aux Dames for the same reason.

William/Guillaume is buried in the Abbaye aux Hommes, or at least his femur is.

In one way looking at this tomb is a bit like a personal introduction. To be near someone who changed the course of English history, someone I've read about off and on over the years, is exciting. 

It is one way of almost touching history.

But there is another aspect. William/Guillaume's life may be well known but what about the stone cutter who shaped the stone that Rick is touching? What about the mason who placed the stone on top of another?
  • What were their lives like? 
  • What did they wear? 
  • What did they eat? 
  • Were they married?
  • Did they have children?
  • How many?
  • What did they do in their free time?
Building a cathedral takes decades if not centuries so the stone workers, cutters, carvers or masons had a job security.

We will never know about these men. But for one minute, Rick's hand was on the stone that someone had touched centuries before, truly touching history.

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