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By Elson T. Elizaga
 
With Dr. Erlinda Burton and friends in the Huluga archaeological site
With Dr. Erlinda M. Burton (in glasses) and other friends in the Huluga archaeological site.

I look for fossils and artifacts because each one tells a story, and each story connects with the other, and when my mind is open everything placed before my eyes speaks to me of a time I can never returned to, but which I can pass on to my children, because it is where all stories come from.

Without a story, a man is a thin layer of photographic film, exposed to the sun, and the only memory there is the fingerprint of someone who happened to pass by and picked it up.

There is a story of a young man who left home because of constant fight with his father. From far away, he wrote to his sick mother but never received any reply. When he heard news of her passing, he returned, and asked his father why his mother never wrote back. His father said, "She wrote many letters to you all these years, but each time she told me to send one to the post office, I secretly put it somewhere else. Your letters, too, I never gave to her."

"Show me mom's letters," the son said.

"No."

This is the No that I feel whenever I set foot on an archaeological site and find nothing, except for small broken pieces that tell me of the presence of an ancient community that is gone forever, cannibalized by descendants who have forgotten.

 
Copyright © Elson T. Elizaga.