Meira McMahon: Heiress to the Matriarchy

I will not live as long as my mother who, I suspect, is more than two hundred now, but I will live longer than most. Longevity is in the genes of the women in my family but diluted in my case by living in polluted times. My mother, Fiona, was probably born in Ireland towards the end of the eighteenth century of a Norman mother and a Saxon, or possibly Viking, father. I cannot be sure of these things because the synaptic links to that part of my memory are yet to be connected.

My life, since setting out to find my father, has been a series of experiences that trigger connections with the past and, in that process, the expansion of my memory which is unique to my kind. My kind? I am descended from the ‘Old Ones,’ a line of Ancients who, because of their enlightened ways, enjoy long lives. It might be that it was because of their longevity that they became so enlightened, or it might be the other way about: regardless, my ancestors live much longer than contemporary humans.

Looking back at the 7,000 year old tale of King Gilgamesh’s  journey to find his grandfather, who was reported to have found the secret of eternal life, a story that has long been credited as the original novel, it is immediately clear that there is an error. Purportedly it refers several times to the the story of Noah which, if true, surely means Noah’s is the original story. The expression, “…since the Gilgamesh,” meaning the very first, the absolute beginning, has already been distorted to the “Since the get go,” and is unlikely, therefore, to become the ‘Since Noah,’ any time soon. What is immediately obvious is how quickly distortions occur, and how unreliable, therefore, is history. For people to go to war, to destroy and to kill, in support of one version of a story over another is unacceptable to anyone of sound human values, so it is to the disseminating of these values that I spend much of my time.

My formative years were spent in Lebanon, mostly in Beirut, where I was educated by my parents, local historians, Rabbis, and Muslim Clerics. It was hard to understand how my country could be torn apart by people determined to impose their view of a common story upon others, and even harder to understand why we had to move to a place so remote as Australia for my secondary education. That, though, was only part of my early confusion because my father, who I adored, and worked hard to please, left us in my teen years. Stunned, I buckled down, work flat out, I know no other way, for my degree, and took up the reins of my fathers gem business like a good daughter.

It was a practical arrangement that gave me an occupation, freedom to travel, and a comfortable income, but I was not happy. Too many issues grew large; to many questions remained unanswered. Why did Daddy go? Why did I have no aunts, uncles, cousins… Where was my father’s family? My grandmother? The questions increased in number and magnitude until a trigger, a silly, egotistic, alpha male, trigger sent me in search of answers, which I found. I found shocking answers to quite simple questions but I uncovered more mysteries than I solved.

Join me in my adventures and with me, learn how humans thrived in the Indus Valley 150,000 years ago. Discover how mountain people cooked their food and sterilized their water without recourse to fire. Discover the origins of “Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread,” and see how the Egyptians cut the stone for their pyramids with such precision.

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